as moeggs.............howdy! There is some exceptional elk hunting in BC in the Kootenay's and up the Alaska Highway in the Prophet /Muskwa country. There are parts of the Kootenay's that are too accessible by residents due to logging and mining, but a good outfitter will be getting you into the back country with horses and a long way from the nearest road and beyond the hunters with backpacks. Lets face it there is only so far a backpack hunter can go into the backcountry and still reasonably expect to pack an elk out. Horses get you and your gear beyond that and get your elk out.
The northern elk hunting area from the Dawson Creek country north has some fantastic wilderness country. Here again the secret is horses. You need to get beyond the backpackers and any large rivers or bodies of water that can handle jet boats and float planes. Once you do this you have the country to yourself.
Alberta has some good elk spots, but it is harder to get away from people. Alberta has 60% of all the horses in Canada......that means even on pack trips you will run into other pack trips in a lot of places. Lots of horse people and lots of residents that pack in hunting, much more so than BC.
As for hunting south of the border..........I have done a bit. I have hunted in Washington, Oregon, Texas, Colorado and numerous times in Montana and Wyoming. I have not hunted in Idaho. How does it compare? Well, way more hunters to be honest. Here again, I find perceptions depend on where you come from............my idea of too many hunters may seem like the wide open spaces to other guys.
I do recall being in Colorado's high country one time and we were at a trail head and it was filled with trucks and empty stock trailers. It was a gong show. In eastern Oregon the elk hunting was a zoo. Some nice country...but hunters everywhere and the elk were all on big private ranches.
All in all my best experiences state side have been by paying for access to private land. A good friend who lives in Lewiston, Idaho and would go on pack trips every year for elk has quit going. He found that there were too many people accessing the backcountry now and he no longer found it enjoyable.........he has also been commenting on the lack of game/wolf problems.