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About Arizona Outback
About AZO
Serving the Prospecting & Treasure Hunting Community since 1998. Arizona Outback is one of the Nation's leading suppliers of metal detection technology. Our team members have traveled around the world using the very products we sell, and are accredited experts on the Minelab brand. We are a family owned company, who pride ourselves on Honesty and Superior Customer Service. We are proud supporters of Outdoor Recreation and Mining Heritage preservation.

A Closer Look at Team AZO

Chris Gholson

Chris Gholson’s introduction to gold prospecting started as a young boy when his grandfather began taking him along on his many excursions into the Arizona desert to search for Indian artifacts, relics, and of course gold. In 1998, Chris wrote his first book, Metal Detecting for Placer Gold. In 2002, he authored another book titled, Rich Hill: The History of Arizona’s Most Amazing Gold District, with his colleagues from the University of Arizona and California State University. He is a columnist for Lost Treasure Magazine, and is contributing author for several other magazines including: The Gold Prospector, and the International California Mining Journal. He works as a product field tester for virtually all the large metal detector manufacturers. Chris has made numerous appearances on the Outdoor Channel and has been featured in television commercials for Minelab Electronics. He holds a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences. He has prospected extensively throughout the Western United States, the Australian Outback, the goldfields of Alaska, and the rainforests of South America.

Alyssa Gholson

Alyssa is a native of Arizona and grew up in Mesa. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2000 and spent four years teaching first grade at an elementary school in Scottsdale, AZ. She became interested in gold prospecting the first time her boyfriend (now husband), Chris brought her a shiny vial of tiny gold flakes that he had dredged from the Bradshaw Mountains. She has traveled the eastern coast of Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and throughout the western United States. She is an accomplished prospector and detectorist. Alyssa has temporarily left the teaching profession to come aboard full time at Arizona Outback.



Steve Gholson

Steve was born in 1959 in the small farming community of Hoopeston, Illinois. He moved out West to Arizona with his family in 1959. Many hours of his youth were spent being dragged around the Superstition Mountains by his father in search of the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine. Steve became interested in Ham Radio at the age of 13 (WATSC – Advanced Class), which eventually led him to the study of quartz crystals and crystal filters used in the electronic industry. Steve began his own electronics manufacturing company, Temex Electronics, in 1982. His company produced a variety of products including Rubidium Atomic clocks, oscillators, monolithic quartz crystal filters, etc.
He sold the company and retired in 1995, which allowed him more time to pursue his interests in gold prospecting. Steve first purchased a metal detector back in 1985, but didn’t become heavily involved with detecting until the past six years. Together with his son Chris, he has prospected throughout the Western United States, Alaska, and has spent many season working in the Outback of Australia. Although Steve has found numerous pounds of gold nuggets, he still finds enough time to pursue other interests such as tournament chess and the study of physics and mathematics.

Joe Kauffman

Joe’s interest in gold started back in elementary school when he began reading about the legendary Lost Dutchman’s gold mine believed to be located somewhere in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains. Finally in 1996, a lifelong friend (Chris Gholson) invited him to come along on a detecting trip. Joe had never handled a metal detector before, but after only a few hours of hunting with the XT17000 he netted his first nugget and was immediately stricken with gold fever! He now swings a Minelab GP Extreme and is having more luck than ever. His collection of nuggets range from a mere grain to well over an ounce. Joe; or Cactus Joe as we like to call him; has prospected throughout the goldfields of Arizona, New Mexico and Western Australia.

Joe is a real whiz when it comes to computers, and with the AZO website constantly growing he is responsible for the weekly maintenance and the updating of pages as new products arrive and gold discoveries are made. Besides his interest in computers and gold, he is also an avid hunter. He has taken 16 big game animals including the 11th largest bull elk in the world for the 2000 archery elk season and 2 mule deer that scored high enough to make the Boone and Crockett record books. He is also a licensed hunting guide in AZ so keep him in mind if you are lucky enough to get drawn!

Bob "Montana" Dansie

When asked how he got involved with gold prospecting, Bob had this to say. “I have always had an interest in outdoor pastimes and went artifact hunting and rock-hounding with my parents from the time I was old enough to walk. My grandfather was an ore buyer for Utah mining and smelting and traveled the west in a model "A" Ford buying gold, silver, and copper ore directly from the miners. His travels took him all over Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah, Montana and Idaho. I grew up hearing tales of his adventures and the rich gold mines he saw. My uncle on my Dad’s side was a mining engineer at the Campbird Mine in Colorado. How could I not get the gold Fever at some point? It had to be put off until I got my family raised but I started hearing tales of huge nuggets being found in Australia with detectors in the early 80's. It wasn't until 1988 that I got a detector and found my first nugget about a year later while living in Lake Havasu City. Within 6 months I was on a plane to Australia. I made six trips over to Western Australia staying 6-months each time. I went in the hole the first couple of trips but my last trip in 1996 was good for 40-ounces. All that gold was sold long ago because I was doing it for a living. Since that time I have been prospecting here in the Western US, Alaska, and Mexico. I now make my home in the California Motherlode where I continue work closely with AZO. Buying that first detector was a real turning point in my life and has provided me with 16 years of fun and adventure, and travel to places that I would never have seen otherwise. What used to be a fun job is now a fun hobby and I can't imagine a healthier, exciting thing to be doing at this point in my life…”


The history on how Arizona Outback began.
About Arizona Outback


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