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?
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...