Construction zones become hunting grounds for treasure hunters - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Construction zones become hunting grounds for treasure hunters


 Eau Claire (WQOW) - For many of us road construction means ripped up roads and headaches, but for others it means a hunting ground and heart palpitations.

"I’m out here almost every night,” said metal detecting enthusiast Ken Briggs.

Briggs wasn’t the only one out on Center Street in Chippewa Falls Wednesday night. About half dozen others joined him in the sunshine.

"I like it because I get to dig and find cool stuff,” said Alex one of the treasure hunters searching for a good find.

For more than 40 years Ken has combed through road construction zones looking for the big find

"Really anyplace with dirt is a good place to find stuff,” Briggs said.

Wednesday night it's was mostly just a lot of junk.

"I found a bunch of nails," said Ethan Trowbridge.

It's something Ken’s club, the Three Seasons Treasure Hunters, find a lot of each year.

"We pulled out 250 pounds of trash," said Briggs.

If they dig it up they take it out: coins, toys, and the junk.

"It cleans up the environment,” Briggs said. “Other wise it just keeps rotting and rusting away in the ground."

But when he does find something of value it doesn't find its way to market.

"We talk about history, we teach about history if we sell then people lose their chance to see it,” said Briggs.

Sometimes, It even finds it's way back to it's owner.

“If we find a ring and it’s got markings that we can use to find the owner we do," said Briggs. “It has more sentimental value to them.”

Ken's been at it for years, others not quite as long.

"About a year,” said Trowbridge. “I thought it'd be cool to have a metal detector."

And even though it's mostly nails and bits of metal, that next beep could be something big

'You never know what you're going to find,” Briggs said.

Ken says detecting in a construction zone is ideal, that's because most of the items are near the top and the digging has already been done for him.

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