Very interesting. I also drew a17 and it was my first time ever applying. I'm pretty nervous. I feel really unprepared. I just ordered my first bow yesterday. I planned to be more on top of this but between a personally health issue last fall and covid I'm behind the game.
Looking at the unit you have 2 towns nearby, Bishop and Independance. There is a FS campground at the foot of the Sierra west of Independance and the John Muir trail as the western boundary. I'd invest some time finding glassing points off of the JMT. There is only 460,000 acres there to roam in.
If you finish early you can always climb Mt. Whitney if you get bored.
They don't leave the trail. I'd reckon once you were out of sight and hearing of it you would be in undisturbed animals. But there also is the Kings canyon National park on the other side of the trail so that's a sanctuary too.
First order of business is to get eyes on the country and boots on the ground
Brutal, 95+ degrees every day. Really steep, rocky, kitty litter type ground. Saw a few does, but that was it. Heard from a few people it was a similar story for them as well... I think it got too hot too quick last year and all the deer bumped over the crest into the national park. All in all, a great experience though.How was your hunt??