As mentioned above, a lot of the biggest bulls head to the giant Q Ranch. Some bulls head completely out of the unit late in the year if there is deep snow. There are roads scattered all over the public with lots of cow hunters...so be prepared. It can be a fun hunt if you do a lot of prep work and are a little lucky!
I put in for Type 1. have hunted for antelope and MD but on private in lower elevations. Never saw any elk there. Last time I was there the first week in October I heard some bugles and the land owner said they only come on his land occasionally when pushed around. Heard of the Q- ranch and I understand that is not a slam dunk either due to the open landscape. Are the HMa worth trying? Thanks
There are some really good bulls there and a lot of pressure from cow hunters on the public lands. The elk tend to escape to the ranches and once there with limited pressure they stay especially during rifle, bow is your best bet. I've actually seen ranches "checking fence" with 4 wheelers keeping the elk on the property. Not much Game and Fish can do about it since the ranch is allowed to check their property and cattle.
As Alan mentioned there are a gob of cow hunters during the first season. There are roads everywhere in 16 so it can be fairly tough finding isolated country without cow hunters. With this pressure the bulls often disappear onto private land.
I drew 16 the year before it went to blue chip status. I had a great hunt. Several landowners willing to give permission for the elk hunt. Yes, definitely try the HMAs. The late hunt is just as good as the early.