I drew an elk tag in Arizona. I’ve never hunted elk and I’m finding it hard to get any hunting partners to join me. I’m having trouble mastering E scouting online and I cannot afford an outfitter. Any advice is appreciated. Unit 8 late archery.
Don't be too intimidated by all of it. Spend as much time looking as possible looking at aerial imagery, topographic and land ownership maps, and have several locations picked to check out. For a late hunt, I'd concentrate mostly on finding glassing points. Get there several days early to scout your unit and hit each of your glassing spots. Hunt all day as many days as possible and have fun. Worst case, you spend time hunting and camping in new country and don't kill an elk.
Google the Randy Newberg escouting series on YouTube. There’s a huge amount of info in that. That alone should have enough info to get started and understand the process. Also, learn how to break down and pack out an elk. YouTube can help you there too. Getting an elk out of the woods is a big job and you should be prepared for it with the right info, gear and attitude.
Don’t tie the success or failure of your hunt to whether you kill or not. You obviously want to and will do your best, but acknowledging the odds are stacked against you will help take the pressure off. Have fun and enjoy the hunt. Also keep a realistic expectation on what you want to kill. For my hunt this year, I’m going to have a ball camping and hiking with a rifle. The first legal bull that gets within range is going to have a bad day.
I do agree with Ben Sellers reply "Don’t tie the success or failure of your hunt to whether you kill or not" Try to take this as easy as possible. It'll help you in a long run. One crucial thing to me is that... don't under estimate the power of a good footwear it's because is that you may hike several miles in a day. A footwear can make or break your hunting expectation!
I agree with everything Ben Sellers said, Randy's e scouting series is awesome...kind of pulls the curtain back, but is a really good resource when you are starting out. I also agree that you need to really focus on taking in the experience. Elk hunting is hard, it's harder when you are new, and by yourself, look for opportunities to learn, be ready for an encounter, but don't hang your hunt on filling your tag.
With elk hunting, you are more likely to have 100 blown encounters before your first success than you are to have success in your first year. Don't get me wrong, there is a chance, but it is something that you will probably find gets easier and easier with experience. The thing is, the experience is the best part! There is nothing like being in elk country, even if you don't see a thing. Get out there and enjoy it, and who knows...maybe luck will be on your side. Can't shoot 'em if you ain't out there!
I would also highly recommend checking out Elk101's University of Elk Hunting. This is my first year hunting elk in the backcountry and I just got back from a scouting trip on public ground where I found elk and lots of elk sign. Much of this I learned from Elk101. I'll also second Randy's e-scouting series, as well as just watching everything you can find of Randy's and go back through old threads on here, lots of great info if you dig a bit!