One thing...even if you are going to ever write a story for the mag...you need to keep it around 2,000 words....
But if you are getting pics of elk like that...you are getting close enough...and you are in the elk.
This year seemed to be tough...not a lot of bulls were called in early...rut seemed to be later around here this
year due to the heat. Keep at it...you can get hints form people here...but you will learn the most from your own mistakes.
Takes years in the field and lots of run ins with bulls and elk to learn them.