If early-season weather is on your side, hunting from a treestand over an isolated waterhole or a wallow is your best bet. Under favorable conditions, waterholes are also a good bet for skewering a big muley. too. Water sources that are situated near good cover, could be visited at any time of the day. Stands that are comfortable enough to sit in all day are a must.
When the weather doesn’t cooperate, still-hunting is my method of choice. I like to get up on top of a ridge offering a wide field of view well before sun-up and glass the surrounding valleys, saddles and ridges. Concentrate on areas where lush meadows and water sources are near to ridges that are covered with thick brush and dark timber where the elk would have good security cover. Keep in mind that this type of terrain is no place for cheap binoculars. Early in the morning and late in the evening you should hear bugles that will tip you off to the location of the elk, and through the middle part of the day, listen for cows talking. When you spot a bull you want, be extremely cautious when trying to move in on him because you could easily have another group of elk or deer between your location and the bull you are after.