If i have been in an area enough early scouting I would go with the first just because that first week that will be more likely to be where I have seen them scouting. The area I am hunting this year I have only gotten to set foot in once so I am hoping for Sept. 13-20.
I often wonder this myself? I have shot an elk on opening morning in one spot but the following year all I saw was other hunters. I scouted pre-season and saw bulls while scouting and they were tough to come by the second year. The bulls I saw the second year were very easy to pattern for exactly two days so I think they were pressured out of the drainage we hunt. The bulls where always above timberline in the morning working there way around the bowl and dropping back into timber on the opposite side of us. I guess I would say the first week will produce more of what you see scouting and you will be left with getting away from people and looking for them where others have not gone. I will say that when they really start to rut you can hear them so that might help more as the season progresses. Sometimes you just get pissed off and move like I did last year and all of didn't produce anymore elk than if I had stayed put and just hunted the last two weeks where I hunted the first two. This year I'll be back in the same spot hoping I'll do better. Water will be scarce this year so that might help! Stay close to dark north facing timber near water and who knows what might happen? I hope this year pans out! I usually do two three day weekends and the last two weeks.Bob.