I'm not an archery hunter, but I'll try to give some info.
You missed the general elk draw already. However over the counter tags will be available plus there are usually some left over tags as well that are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Over the counter availablilty depends on the units. Most of the northwestern units should have over the counter tags (units 2, 3, 10, 11, 211, 21, 22). I have heard that 62 is a good general unit but hunt pressure can be high. Most of these units have decent public land, but best to check ahead with maps.
Do you treestand hunt usually? If so, then you should be prepared to learn spot-stalk hunting. You might be able to use a treestand in one of the more alpine units, but most hunting is done without treestands. Not that I have anything against treestands, just that I don't know of any that use them.
There is something about the look and feel of a bolt action rifle with a walnut stock that pleases me. Call me old fashioned, but the character of the rifle I choose to own is equally as important to me as how that rifle performs.
I’ll be the first to admit that the lack of weight in a carbon fiber stock is awfully nice when chasing elk in high country and that any synthetic could help a bit when mother natured decides to rain on your parade. My own preference, however, is to...