More importantly here in the western States. It’s crucial to build up points so that you can eventually draw. In most places it takes more than just a few years to gain enough points for a state with big elk. Find a state in which you would like to hunt and then purchase a point every year and put in for the random draw if you wish… And, if you draw, maybe you can start calling outfitters in the state and get it figured out based on price, reviews, and overall how long they have been around and that will ensure a great hunt!
There is a ton of OTC (over the counter) here out west also! I would agree with Dylan that building points in the western states is key and will help you out immensely. But there’s trophy class animals out there in otc tags. Just gotta work harder. If your wanting to go to Oregon, James Nash of 6ranch outfitters could get you taken care of. He’s in the field all the time. He is super passionate and knowledgeable. Highly would recommend him. Best of luck! Get after it!