I saw your post of your situation. I’m not sure I can be a lot of help as Ive never hunted these areas, but I too looked into hunting each one and have scoured over both. I know the northern part of 78 above rt160 had a large burn area in 2013. They say 5-7yrs after a burn and the elk really dig into the new growth. What turned me away was the amnt of pressure. Sounds like you’d see a lot of horses. In the lower part below 160 a fella told me to start at Harris and Buckles lake and said I’d find the Elk NW of there. My concern was I know there are ranches in that direction so I’m not sure what you’d get into. Truthfully for all I know the guy could’ve been blowing smoke up my ass! That area E and NE of there looked good on maps though.
I haven’t heard a lot about 81 except that there are several fishing guides that roam the area. I guess like anywhere else, stay away from the trails.
I know it’s not much but hope it helps. Good luck man, and thank you for your service!