A thrill of treasure collecting is finding and recovering objects that reveal something of our nation’s history. Some enthusiasts may get more excitement than they bargained for when their discovery turns out to be a military munition. Millions of acres in the United States contain or are suspected to contain munitions from live-fire training or testing and even combat (e.g., Civil War). These explosive hazards may be encountered on the surface or dug up from the subsurface.
The tools treasure collectors use are quite similar to those military personnel use to detect mines and military personnel and qualified contractors use to detect munitions (e.g., unexploded ordnance) that may be in the subsurface. Using these tools, treasure collectors may encounter munitions anywhere, particularly in areas the military uses or once used for live-fire training or testing or other munitions-related activities.
Whatever you do, if you encounter a munition on the surface or dig one up, don’t bring it home! Instead, protect yourself and others by following the 3Rs of Explosives Safety.
For more detailed information, read the 3Rs Explosives Safety Guide for Outdoor Recreation.
3Rs of Explosives Safety
when you may have encountered a munition and that munitions are dangerous.
do not approach, touch, move or disturb it, but carefully leave the area.
call 911 and advise the police of what you saw and where you saw it.