1. Two most important hours of the day, first and last, be out there for them every chance you get.
2. Don't hunt dead ground, if no elk, move.
3. Realistic practice, practice practice until it's second nature, once your bow or rifle is dialed in and tuned, get your practice in the mountains.
4. Hunt with the wind in your favor, always, the little puffer bottles are so cheap and easy to use.
5. Eat plenty of good food and drink enough clean water.
6. Sleep good.
7. Stay dry.
8. Stay in mountain shape all year round.
9. Only take enough gear that allows you to do all of the above, leave the rest at home, or better yet, don't buy it to begin with.
10. Be persistent.
I think one of the reasons I have had success is because I don't limit myself in how I hunt elk or what I try while hunting. Just because something did not work in the past that does not mean it will never work. Every situation is different. Also, just because something did work before, that does not mean it will work every time.
I've found that there is an elevation band that I like to stay in. Knowing the terrain features within that band, in conjunction with the thermals, helps me determine my approaches and set ups. I prefer silence until I am inside the circling satellite bulls that are looking to peel off a cow.
Probably no big trade secrets given there, but maybe it will help someone else. Oh, and if you can be within range of a bedded cow when the herd bull is checking on his cows during their afternoon snooze, that is a good thing.