damn, someone really did their homework or just got really lucky! that's a fair amount of elk y'all saw! it is HARD from 2k miles away to figure out where to hunt, even with escouting, maps and everything else. in '18 & '19 i hunted two different tags/gmu's and even with 4-5 days of on-site scouting (lotsa hiking and driving) i still had no idea where elk where. in '18 colo first rifle i saw two cow elk at first light on the first hunt day and then nothing else after that. in '19 first rifle i didn't see jack the whole time.Did my first rifle hunt in Colorado last year, 1st rifle on an easy draw tag. Saw other hunters, but not many. Most road ATVs and then walked about 200 yds off the ATV trail to hunt. Dad and I just made sure we were to first people at the trail head every morning. We would walk in and get set up 1-1.5 hours before everyone started showing up. Saw elk 4 out of 5 days. Saw 3 bulls opening morning, including a 6x6 that I just couldn't quite pull a shot off on, just out of my comfortable range. If I would have had a cow tag I could have killed a cow every evening.
Second day of the hunt, Dad and I set up on a ridge top where we could glass for a couple miles in each direction. I sat there and watched two hunters walk in and set up about 1500 yds from us, one on the edge of a patch of timber and the other on a gas pipeline. I watched 3 nice bulls walk right in between the two guys!! The bulls were no more than 200 yds from each hunter, they just slipped down a little canyon right in between them.
i really want to go back this year again. it would be a lot easier decision if i at least had some close calls.