I've done some scouting up there this year, and will be elk hunting first season with friends who have hunted there for several years. But its my first, so take this for what it's worth... I think serviceberry mountain and the northern edges of the national forest will be your best bet. My friends tell me that they almost never see deer in the national forest where we will be hunting, but they are all over the ranch lands down lower. So I would suggest looking for lower elevation public lands, north of the national forest, or along the lower edges of the forest. There are pockets of BLM ground that look interesting to me. I suggest north because it is harder to get to and likely to receive less pressure than the grounds near Craig.
So you've booked an outfitted hunt this year. And you're going to get to ride horses into the mountains to save your legs and your back.
I've met lots of guys who've been in this same situation. They figure, "heck, how hard can it be?" But, I assure you, if you don't learn to get along with your mount for the week, it's going to be a bumpy, scary, noisy, and life threatening experience.
First, let's start with the horse itself. A horse trained under western style has 4 gears. The walk, trot,...