My answer to that question is yes, it can definitely improve your chances of bagging an elk and here’s why I think so.
I base my answer on the fact that I started out hunting whitetail deer many years ago in Alabama. I spent so much time in the woods going after that trophy whitetail. Years later, after moving to Colorado and becoming a guide and outfitter, I used some of the same skills from whitetail deer hunting to help bag my elk. And I have gotten my share of elk over the years.
If you really think about it, Elk are in the family of deer so they share many of the same characteristics and habits of elk. Deer and elk have the same basic needs. Both of these animals need to eat, rest and reproduce.
When hunting whitetail, you are always looking for areas where they might tend to eat, or where they might be bedding down or maybe where they would be reproducing, especially during the rut. Because of these three needs, scouting becomes simplified. Using these whitetail skills will definitely pay off.
Now Elk hunting does have its own set of techniques but hunting whitetail deer definitely gives you an advantage. So by combining your present skills with the new skills you learn about elk hunting, your odds become much more favorable on getting an elk.
So, will whitetail deer hunting improve your chances of bagging an elk? You bet it will!