I am planning an elk hunt in September 2016. It seems a long way off, but taking unpaid leave is the only way I can get leave from my job during the fall and that is the soonest it is possible. I'm looking to backpack into a wilderness area (either unofficial or official) in pursuit of elk. It will be my first elk hunt. While I have no experience hunting elk, I chase whitetail deer through square miles of "big woods" here in Canada and have done extensive backcountry travel out west mountaineering, white water kayaking, backpacking, etc. I am very comfortable with backcountry travel of all kinds and have the fitness to tackle any challenge within reason. I fully expect that I will not kill an elk, although I will try my hardest! Really, it is about the experience of pursuing a majestic animal in a pristine wilderness setting. My first choice is rifle hunting the early rifle seasons in the wilderness zones of Idaho (e.g. Frank Church) or Montana (e.g. Bob Marshall). My back up plan would be bowhunting in Colorado. Where would you go? My criteria is being able to hunt during the rut, being in a pristine wilderness setting, and having a realistic change of elk encounters. All feedback welcome and appreciated.