I'm not trying to be smart, but "elk are where you find them". The two areas that you mention are generally on a migration route to lower wintering grounds from the higher county to the North. Thus, the increase in elk populations in either area is largely weather dependent. Both areas are quite popular during the November muzzleloader season. Last year, the weather didn't cause much of any movement until after the November season (which is a popular controlled draw tag.) If you are looking for lower and easier ground than the northern areas of 5000 to 6500 feet, then the Prospect and Butte Falls areas are options, but you are not likely to find the numbers that inhabit the higher ground during the October general elk season. Again, . . . . . get some weather, and things change!
So you've booked an outfitted hunt this year. And you're going to get to ride horses into the mountains to save your legs and your back.
I've met lots of guys who've been in this same situation. They figure, "heck, how hard can it be?" But, I assure you, if you don't learn to get along with your mount for the week, it's going to be a bumpy, scary, noisy, and life threatening experience.
First, let's start with the horse itself. A horse trained under western style has 4 gears. The walk, trot,...