First season without a doubt. 5 year average drops from 36 in first to 24 to 14 by third season. I don't have all the 4th season data compiled, but you could compare those two. Any time you can hunt a controlled season it is better than an unlimited season.
But you might want to look into your tactics also. That being said, welcome to elk hunting, even during first season the average hunter only harvests once out of three years. So maybe this is your year?
One of the most important components of deciphering a new hunting area is distinguishing between the summer and winter ranges for the game that you plan to pursue. Without knowing this you cannot make reliable assumptions about where the game will be come opening day. Knowing these areas will allow you to take the current weather (as well as the past couple weeks) and apply that to the landscape and make an educated guess as to where you might find that big buck or bull.
There are a couple ways...