If your scouting this time of year, I would shoot for the dawn or dusk hours. Elk tend to snooze more through the hot summer days and if you are hunting in thick cover you won't see as many (if any) since they just bed down.
Scope out the watering holes in the area too, some holes will have elk sign in and out.
There are still some who insist a scope is not needed for the type hunting they do, ignoring the advances of the last 150 years in optical sights. (Even the ultra-conservative US Army has adopted optical sights.) The idea that in some special circumstances open iron sights or aperture (peep) sights might be more useful is not lost on me, but with the inevitable advance of age comes the reduction in visual acuity needed for using iron sights.
I believe that many who completely resist the idea of...