I tried a Cow Elk hunt in WY back in 2012. Myself and 3 others were able to buy Cow/ Calf online in July as leftover licenses in area 9 without any points. We found a good place to stay in Woods Landing , WY and our plan was to hunt the Medicine Bow National Forest that is all over the area. So there was 4 of us and we stayed in 2 small cabins and hunted as 2 separate groups and spent evenings talking about what we seen and found that day while hunting as none of us knew anything about the area. Being public land and opening day for Elk and Mule Deer it was crowded and finding areas to get to without horses is tough as none of us are in great shape to hike miles in 9000' elevation. As luck would have it we seen more Moose than anything else ?? In 4 days I seen 9 Moose, 2 Bulls, 5 Cows, 2 Calves, 0 Elk, several small mule bucks and a lot of mule does.
One of the guys in our party did see and get a shot at a Cow Elk but missed. He over estimated the range and held just over the shoulders and that's where the bullet went >
" missed by that much " ??? :-[
We all went home empty handed but had a Great time and it didn't cost too much. That area for mule deer was buck only and there were a lot of deer hunters at our camp that never seen a buck.
What we learned and new from the start was hunting Public land is very competitive and without much knowledge of the hunting area except from studying maps and only having 5 days to hunt your likelihood of success is pretty low. There was plenty of Elk sign in the area but there's not many dumb ones waiting to be shot at. They go where it's hard for you to go and in the first week of October they are mostly above 10000'.
If you can go hunting after snows have drove them down lower and get out without getting stuck or stranded by storms they would be easier to find and the success higher but to plan and execute doing that from 1200 miles away is a big chance at hitting the date right when you can get off work and get out there.
It can be done ,and hope to do it again myself. This year I missed out not getting any antelope tags as they were all sold out before the leftovers were for sale for the area I hunt. That has never happened before.