I hunted the Castles a fair bit in college, and the Crazies probably just once or twice. Never saw an elk in either place, not even in the back of someone's truck, but got into some decent deer hunting every once in awhile, just never put it all together. Can't say I really knew what I was doing back then though.
I live near the Crazies. I have never hunted them before. Not sure if they changed the tags to draw only or not. Plenty of elk, and no grizzley bears. More pressure from rifle hunters cause the elk to move to private lands. Still plenty of public land to hunt. Watch out for the high winds!
A perk of majoring in wildlife biology in college is the plethora of hunting knowledge that you collect throughout your course load. One of the most important factors in whether an area can hold large quantities of animals or produce large antlers is forage.
Most universities, state schools and even community colleges offer basic botany courses and plant ID courses. Although it might not be feasable for the average middle age hunter to pay tuition and go back to college to learn hunting...