Jared welcome BGH! This year has been one of the worst I have ever seen when it comes to the elk.
I only had a cow tag this rifle season and never even seen an elk. I walked 14 miles round trip into one of my hidden holes, and tried many other holes I have in out of the way spots, and found very few tracks. I have been up there since the beginning of archery season and it is truely depressing the way things have been with the elk this year. ,)
If you are willing to work and walk a long ways I would concentrate on Star Mesa, Flat Iron Canyon, and the Badlands.
The goal of all hunters is a quick, humane kill where the animal drops in it's tracks and is dead within seconds. But in a pursuit that has as many variables as hunting, sometimes things don't quite go according to plan. However, game can be tracked and recovered with the right skills and with patience.
First of all, you need to wait the right amount of time after the shot before tracking a wounded animal. I've heard estimates of waiting 30 minutes for a hit in the vitals and 5-8 hours for a...