Re: Idaho hunters...info?
Not all areas of the state have general hunts also, some are LE only, but a General tag is good in all the areas that have general hunts. Elk are area specific.
I would generalize that working hard for a week, you should expect 100% chance on 3pt buck, 50% chance on small 4pt up to 140", and less than 5% chance on 160" or bigger. This may be high for your first year, but the nice thing is you can hunt here every year. That is the beauty of our system.
You will want to hunt the last week of the general season instead of the opening week if you are not scouting over the summer. Hope for weather to move them. Many areas have concurrent elk hunts, or when deer closes then elk opens.
I have hunted general in units 10a, 23, 24, 32, 32a, 39, 43, and 73 since moving here in 04. They all have their pluses and minuses but the one constant. They all have opportunity but your odd's increase with knowledge of the area over time and effort. I have been on LE hunts in units 32, 40, 44, and 45 for deer and 40, 44, and 51 for elk. They all increase opportunity, but still require a lot of work to increase your odd's. Use the fish and game website and to a bunch of research on draw odd's for LE units. Don't focus on the number of NR tags issued, but on the % of successful NR's. You won't find that the 10% max limit lowers your odd's very much. Look for what is important to you, opportunity or trophy. You will very much find here that they have an inverse relationship. There is a reason units 45 and 54L have such low draw odd's. Units with draw odd's above the mid teens are either not very good trophy quality or limited by access.