Hunting that ridge was part of a successful strategy I had used before. The technique entailed prowling along trails a short rifle shot below the crest, moving across the thermal drift with the sun to my back or side. In sunlit places at dawn and dusk, keeping to shady slopes during midday, I'd glass clumps of white-bark pine and subalpine fir, with occasional looks into and across mountain basins. Through mid-October in most alpine deer range, bucks stay high. Young bucks typically move in bachelor groups, veterans by themselves or in pairs. They bed just off the ridge so that they have more escape options and a view. The best places are where snowmelt or springs keep forbs green through autumn.