No rules on how long before the hunt you can scout. But some what pointless for an out of stater to come to early as the bow hunter will push the elk around. They will settle down some what by the first rifle hunt. I was down there last weekend to look at 16B as I have never hunted that one 16 unit for elk and it is a soggy mess. Something like 24" of rain in the last 2 months and they only get a little least than that in a good year most of the time. So water is everywhere. Might dry up by October. But I would bet on it. As for being better units with more elk. Ha I wish more people thought that, maybe a could get a rifle tag more than once every 18 years and a bow tag more than one a decade. I was only there for 1 1/2 days and I saw 300 to 350 elk in a small portion on 16B and about 12 smaller bulls. Not sure if the bigger bulls are rutting yet. I would almost say no. They will let the youngsters round up a herd and then go kick some ass and take it from them. Most likely the big herds I saw will splitter into smaller ones with bigger bulls. Just get down 4 to 7 days before your hunt and cover ground and glass your ass off. Pattern the big bulls and hope they don't pull off the cows by the first rifle hunt. They just let it some freedom seeds fly and be happy with the bull you worked to get.