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Carrie Snyder, Published October 26 2009

Portraits: Ike Nesheim

Ike Nesheim is a modern-day treasure hunter. The 71-year-old Moorhead man can be found around the metro-area parks scanning the land with his Pioneer 202 Bounty Hunter metal detector.

“I probably go out one or two times a week for two or three hours,” Nesheim said. But it’s not about the money for Nesheim. He enjoys his hobby as a way to get exercise and fresh air.

“It keeps my diabetes in check instead of taking insulin; my doctor approves,” he said. His high-tech metal detector tells him what kind of treasure is buried in the ground and how deep it is. Nesheim has stumbled upon items such as watches and rings, all of which he sells or gives away. But he tends to hold on to the coins he finds.

His most memorable find is a 1900 Indian head penny he found in Lindenwood Park in Fargo. Some people would look into the cash value of such a coin, but Nesheim is just happy to add it to his collection. “Coins I don’t sell, I just keep them,” he said. “Everything I find, I never spend.”