It's almost entirely wilderness, and that which is not at timberline is almost all dead or dying bettle killed dark timber. So, you have to get high to have a shot at the elk if there's no snow to track them in the woods. As that timber is dying, sunlight is now reaching the forest floor and those elk do not have to forage in large meadows as much as they used to. Therefore, you need to get all the way back in there in country that is a little more huntable.
Also, make sure you know the difference between elk and moose sign, there's a few moose running around there in the swamps and creeks.
And since the unit is OTC for archery and list B, I'd suggest you get an OTC antlerless license to force you to scout/hunt the area ahead of time.
Thanks for the info. I can get an over the counter anterless archery as well as my rifle tag? I will still be able to use my rifle tag if I bag a cow archery, correct. I wouldn't be limited to just 1 elk.
Do you suggest going in off of rte 9 outside of silverthorne?
We hunted 37 and 371 on the west side of HW9, almost on the border of the two units. It was horrible. We were there 2nd season OTC elk, and there were hunters everywhere. It was the most hunters I've ever seen elk hunting in an over the counter season. We almost couldn't find a place to camp, people were driving trucks and four-wheelers at all hours of the night, and we didn't see any elk. Saw tracks, but no elk. We walked several miles into the wilderness, walked the boundaries bording private land and everything in between. Occasionally we'd cut an elk track in the snow, only to see other hunter's footprints next to them. If you are there during bow season, it might be a great unit as there were clearly elk there at some. And we did see a legal bull driving in on Friday night on neighboring private property. So they are there. Saw a few really nice deer in the creek bottoms though. I do have to admit, there were a few places we didn't look or care to go, basically the west side of the ridge. I think I'm in great shape, but I don't think someone could have paid me enough to hike a dead elk out of some of those valleys...so we didn't waste our time hunting them.
One of the things I struggle with when afield is keeping my rifle clean and in good working order. Small amounts of dust and dirt collect moisture; moisture can freeze rendering your action immovable when you need it most. I have seen this happen on multiple occasions, and over time, I’ve learned the cause and how to prevent this from happening.
The first thing that you need to avoid before going afield is leaving excess oil on the gun. Oil will trap dirt and sand in all the wrong places....