North Slopes: "Natural places to hold elk, with shade and cover," he says. "East-to-west running canyons or drainages are prime because they will have the most north-facing terrain."
The Right Steepness: Livesay uses Google Maps with tilt, and layers in Gaia GPS, to look for what he calls "gold zone" slopes of 20 to 30 degrees—just the right steepness elk prefer—not to little slope, not too much.
Benches: "Benches are critical," says Livesay. "Benches are where elk travel, bed, and socialize. Benches half to three-quarters to the top of a slope are best."
Flat Bottoms: Canyons with flat bottoms are more likely to have water and pocket meadows than V-contoured drainages. But avoid trail-invaded bottoms. "Use Google Earth to see if there are discernible pathways—hiking trails and otherwise—that would bring hunting pressure," advises Livesay.
Heads of North-Facing Canyons: Look to these spots in canyons that don't run east-west.