Siouxland Stories: Digging into the life of a modern-day treasure hunter

Siouxland Stories

Mike Peschon is in the business of making dreams come true.

“I started in 1977 building house here and been doing it ever since,” said Peschon.

He was fresh out of high school.

“I learned as I go. Made some mistakes along the way and learned as I go and I liked it,” said Peschon.

And the rest is history.

But, Mike’s brick and mortar ambitions don’t hardly compare to his other pie-in-the-sky passion.

“I always say I’d rather be lucky than skilled,” said Peschon.

When not building homes, Mike is a treasure hunter. But luck only plays a small part in what’s added up to hundreds of thousands of targets dug.

“I’m more a play the odds, find something old, do the research, and try and find something gold, and that’s paid out pretty good for me the last three to four years,” said Peschon. “They always say, there are more coins lost than what there are in circulation. What you see here is about half of what I’ve got and doesn’t include what’s in the bank deposit box.”

“Keys, I probably can get any house in Dickenson County, keys to every house in the county,” Peschon added.

Turns out, Mike was on point from the beginning.

“My wife’s uncle had a metal detector. I dug down and it was a 1924 quarter, the first coin I ever found. That’s a Standing Liberty and really hard to find. Been detecting for 31 years and only found eight of them and that was the first one I found. It got me hooked,” he said.

“You get to a place your going to dig, do you get excited what you might find? Little do the home owners know, they probably been mowing over a treasure for years and not know it,” he added.

Peschon is a karma guy.

“Feels pretty good. Get a good warm feeling able to return something to someone that means so much to them,” he said. “I’ve found and returned hundreds of rings to people. I’ve found over 4,400 rings over 31 years. I’ve kept some and returned some.

Among them was Jeff Johnson’s wedding ring.

“Wife and I walked around and no luck,” said Johnson.

The ring, lost in a field after 67 years of marriage, was just the second time it was ever off his finger.

“Mike got up there and I was walking back up there, heard a funny noise and looked. He had that silver thing in his fingers. First I thought he was pulling my leg,” Johnson added.

Almost as many stories as treasures found. From a house fire to the sunken wedding ring.

“I found every piece of gold, 38 out of that fire,” said Peschon. “I dug up a tin can, peel it open and the ring had slipped down, fell in there and so there was a diamond ring inside there.”

There’s been stuff Peschon has found that people wouldn’t ever expect someone to lose.

“Five feet of water, I dug down and found a whole front teeth of a guy. Gold teeth. I’m like, oh no, what am I going to find, is there somebody else there. I did sell those right away, I didn’t want them around. I don’t know how you find the owner of that,” Peschon said.

When Peschon does find something, there’s often a story that makes you wonder why you’re not looking for treasure.

“1904 political campaign slogan with two candidates battling it out, found part the banner. I didn’t know there was suppose to be a face with it until I Googled it some years later, no clue there was another piece,” Peschon said.

He found it eventually, three miles away.

“Eight years later, I was at another location, the head that had the faces on it. Pretty amazing,” he added.

Of course, every metal detector eventually runs low on power, but Peschon said that won’t stop him from finding treasures.

“I don’t think I’ll ever hang it up. I’m going to slow down a little, but when the good Lord tells me I can’t get up on my knees anymore,” Peschon said. “It’s amazing being able to give back something to someone, feels so special.”

Much like most of the treasures Peschon has discovered.

If you know someone with a unique talent or little known skill that others might enjoy hearing about, KCAU 9 wants to know them as well. Email us at with the subject “Siouxland Stories” and briefly explain what it is that this person does that is so interesting. Don’t forget to watch those stories when they air on KCAU 9 News.

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