Its good that Uncle has been there for the past 3 years.
I went to Indian Peak just moments ago. Cool, huh?
There are good roads there, i.e., Indian Peak Road. That means the 1L license plates will be using method 1 in droves. (There's a pun there someplace?)
That's big country and good roads. Therefore lots of activity along the road. Get away from the road by at least a mile, which is a really long ways (the dozer roads are crooked. After nearly a 2 hour walk I was only a mile from the road) and things will be better. Most people don't get more than 1/2 mile from the road. Add another 1/2 mi to that for their impact and things will get just a bit quieter.
Stay in pairs would be good advice.
What everyone expects, most probably Uncle too, is to "get into 'em" translated from Idahoese "we busted some and had a hell of a time getting a decent shot as they were bustin' through the brush." That is exacty NOT the way to do it. A deer will run for maybe 1/4 mile the slow and maybe browse or bed. An elk will much further. I don't know how much further though. I've never been any where near successful in catching up to them.
If ya gotta walk and stalk, go slow. So slow you almost tip over. Only one fella should walk at a time. One goes 50' the other stands. The other catches up and so on.
The elk most probably will be scatterd in small, very small, groups. They say the woofs cause that behavior.......
if you don't already have it, get Google Earth on your puter. Search for Indian Peak. Learn to do the tilt an pan thing. Get Uncle over there and he'll be able to show you where he saw elk. That will be worth a week or two's worth of scouting.
Be careful during your scouting. If you get with in a half mile of a herd while scouting, if it isn't during the rut, they won't be there when the season starts.
Pick any given spot where elk will be at any point in the season and they will be there only one, maybe two, consecutive evenings during the entire season. If they would be there in the morning I'd bet they would be there only one time during the season. The farther from the road, the fewer the hunters, the more apt they are to linger for a couple of days in an area. But one hunter in their area and all bets are off.
The elk in that area are really spooky. It won't take much to get them on the run. Once they head out, about a 4 hour walk will possibly get you close again, but then again they may travel all day. That really sucks!
There are really only two hunting style options worth considering. One is if you want to kill an elk. The other is if you want to kill an elk at long range.
The long range option will most probably be the most boring but fruitful. Just killing an elk is less boring but most likely less fruitful.
The guns you use and the preparations you make will sooner or later determine you style.
Come up with a plan and stick to it. It will work, given enough time.;)
Prep for all 4 seasons in one day. It'll happen.
If it snows, that's good. Get up in it. That's were the elk will be. Some may be lower too. Heck they never read the game plan......
The devil is in the details. Get your gear together in June. Use it in June, July and August. Even if you camp in the back yard. Go through your morning getcha goin' routine until it's routine.
If you're going to do the "hide" thing. Practice together preping for the shot. Who's the spotter, who's the shooter. Get your lingo down pat.
Your family's gonna laugh at you, but they can't see your dream. It's kind of like the beagle chasing a rabbit. Take the rabbit out of the picture and the dog looks like it's nuts!
Decide on your teams early. Learn to work together.
Last but not least. Bring lots of mouse traps (try 20 or so. Two was definitely insufficient.) and an air rifle for those damn chipmunks! They're cute for a while then they'll drive ya nuts.
Also, you'll want something very quiet to assassinate grouse. They taste too good to pass up, but a shot gun is too loud if you are camped anywhere near where you think you're going to shoot.
If the roads are good you're closer to Salmon than we were. We were at 4 hours round trip. Don't over do on grocs and don't buy 'em at North Fork. The only deal in North Fork is gas and ice.
As far as deer tags go. Heck ya, get 'em. Idaho needs the money.;) Uncle should have seen plenty of deer. The young ones have never seen a human before and are like shooting pigs in a pen. That's why there is so much road hunting going on.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!