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Hello and any help is appreciated.

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I'd like to say hi to all. I am new and would like any guidence I can get. I'm in Arizona and am interested in the detection aspect of gold mining. Ive been doing alot of research and the more I do the more confused I get. I'm quite confused as to once I decide to make the plunge and get a detector, where can I legally go out and hunt for gold? I have been looking at the local clubs and they seem to be more geared to panning and slucing. Will joining one of these clubs also benefit the detector types? Sure appreciate any guidence I can get from those experienced folks out there. Just looking to have some fun and get out of the house on a regular basis without driving for hours at a time.


Thanks in advance😁

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Welcome , I am sure there are lots of advice you will get on this forum.

A good club is a good idea, depends on where you are what club you might join.  Th GPAA is great as they have claims all over.

 As far as a detector , find a dealer with a good reputation .. Bill Southern of Nugget Shooter is such a dealer....buy a machine from him and he will offer training on how to use it.

I am sure others will offer info too

SO WELCOME to the group.

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You will get a lot of good advice here and even some exact locations. But if you want to prospect you are going to have to learn research. 

Here is how I got started way back in the days when dinosaurs ruled the earth. We have the internet now so change the recipe to suit your own taste.

1 - Get a copy of "Placer Deposits of Arizona" by Maureen J. Johnson

2- Pick three or four areas to research from that book and buy land ownership maps. 

3- Learn how to identify public land, private land and State Trust land on the maps. Learn how to translate this to an actual spot when you are in the field.

4- Visit all of your areas and decide which ones you want to focus on. Don't take equipment. Go to look at the lay of the land and talk to anyone you meet. If you focus on research FIRST you will have a much better foundation for actually detecting. 

5- Select a spot based on your research. If you ask permission then wear your detecting boots. If you plan on asking forgiveness then wear your tennis shoes. Either way arrive prepared to deal with the obstacles you have identified in your research.

6- Spend more time talking to experienced prospectors, land owners and locals than over your detector. Finding a good spot will get you a lot more gold than spending months under the headphones. You can stumble over barren ground for a lifetime and never find a nugget. You can find gold with just your eyeballs in a good spot.

Research is much more important to the beginner than a good detector or good technique. Research is often much more difficult and time consuming too. You will have plenty of time to learn the detector. Focus on locating 3 or four good areas to practice those skills.

7- The areas guys (and clubs) will tell you about are a good start but only a start. If you don't learn how to branch out you probably are not going to progress much. You branch out by learning how to research and identify spots to put a coil. If you spend all your time digging flecks of lead on a club claim you aren't branching out.

8- Drywash. If you only use a detector you aren't seeing the placer. If you don't or can't drywash then hang with someone who does until you learn how to locate horizons and estimate depth of bedrock, frostline, etc. If you don't drywash or dig for placer you will NEVER learn the anatomy of a placer and you will always be guessing where to put that coil. You will walk over more barren ground and will spend more hours searching for placer that is too deep or too tiny for your machine. Detecting is only a subset of prospecting. Prospectors are often detectorists but detectorists are not always prospectors. 

9- About 80% of the guys you will talk to are fools and know only what they have been told. 50% are playing some angle other than just finding gold. 20% know just enough about it to waste your time. Seek out guys you can trust that actually have experience and knowledge. Don't hunt with guys that have gold fever or want to tell you crazy stories you know aren't true. Never listen to guys like me because I have no idea what I am talking about.

10 -  Good luck cheekako!


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