Just got the word the other day I'm going out to Colorado somewhere around Durango in late-Oct, early-Nov Rifle season! This is my first mule deer trip and my first out of alabama hunting trip at that.
I have lived in Southwest Colorado (Cortez) for 37 years. If any of you guys need any information about hunting Durango or Dolores areas let me know. I will try to answer any questions that you might have.
Yes, elk are plentiful around Pagosa Springs. As far as size, any legal elk is a very big animal. I strongly recommend you take the first legal bull you see. You have time later to be more picky. Big-uns are few and far between, but they are out if you really get lucky or get far enough from a road..
When it comes to scent, there are basically two types; those that attract and those that mask. I've tried both on many occasions. There are lots and lots of "doe in heat" scents, designed to attract a big buck into range. I've also used a "cow in heat" scent while elk hunting.
Another scent would almost be better named as a "coverup smell". The main goal is to cover up human odor or mask it. Though I don't believe you can ever totally eliminate all human...