Hope you stick around and let us know the results of your success/hunt.
Couple of thoughts...
1. You have a GREAT tag first off, maybe the most challenging of the 3 hunts? Maybe not also.
2. In my opinion yes it was a bit of a tough year with the moisture last year and bucks spread out, but what you described up top is not abnormal IMO. It's actually quite normal, there is always some good bucks up there.
3. Im my opinion the deer will not move and will be in the same general area for your hunt as they were for archery. They just might be harder to find, they they are there.
4. Deer can be found high, mid, and low. Tough to say which is best.
5. The deer WILL NOT
move off top once they shed their velvet.
6. The deer may or may not move after 1st hard freeze, funny talked with a guy at a TAXI shop last year 2011 (he had the Rifle tag) and was hunting up top the entire time. I asked him if the bucks were still there, plain and simple answer YEP.
So in summary, the deer will not move at all during your hunt. If they are there for archery, expect them there for you. That's been my experience. Pressure might move them around a little bit, but not from top to bottom.
*Part of the challenge is the deer come out late dusk or dark and don't stick around long in the AM before disappearing to bed.
Hope this helps! Good luck