Hello guys and gals, I have been a Eastmans subscriber for a couple years now but brand new to the forum. I am from Louisiana and been dreaming of making a trip west for as long as I can remember. Only big game I have ever hunted is whitetail here in LA for about 20 years and a trip each of the past 2 seasons to IL. I realize I have an awful lot to learn about hunting public land out west. I have been buying PP's and BP's in a few different states for several species, the last 2 years. Hopefully looking at my first hunt being a CO 2nd season mule deer in GMU 78 next Oct. I have a couple buddies that are planning to come with me and buy elk tags OTC. We would like to use the truck as a base camp and backpack in a few miles(probably 3 or 4 not too far since this will be our first run) and hunt from a spike camp for a few days then head back to base camp for a day to restock on food. Then head back out for the last few days of the season. I have not talked to a biologist or any GWs in the area yet but I have been studying maps and google earth to pick a few spots. Since I have zero experience with a DIY backpack hunt in the mountains, I based my gear list off of Guy's that was in a issue of EHJ. I have good boots that are being broke in now. I am in decent shape now and understand conditioning and training so will be in good shape come Oct. I guess my biggest concern to this point is altitude. Base camp will be around 8K and will be hunting around 10K. Will being in good physical condition take care of any chance of altitude sickness or will I still need to take it slow and drink plenty water? Will I being hunting too high for late Oct. or will the year, weather, hunting pressure, etc. decide that? Not one to just jump on bored and start asking for help but I really don't have anyone locally to ask questions. Any tips or comments on something I may not have thought about would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!