When you are looking for wildlife, most people look too casually. Stop the car, get out and really look. If you have binoculars, by all means use them. Focus your thoughts on finding something, anything. Once you find something, you will begin to see others because you are focused.
Look for movement. You may not be able to anticipate how big or small something like a bear or wolf will look like at the distance your are scanning. If you see it move though, that catches your attention and you can focus on it to see what it is. Just because it might be too far away to photograph when you see it initially, watch it. It may come closer, you never know!
Look for colors that seem out of place. This is a little harder if you are unfamiliar with the area, but true none the less. Is there a white patch where there is no snow? Focus on it. Could it be an elk behind, a sheep, mountain goat? Wait for it to move. Animals eventually will, rocks don’t 🙂
Don’t look just once. Look the area over several times, you will frequently be surprised to find what you missed the first time.
Finally, look down as well as out. Many times you will find something other than what you were looking for – but equally rewarding.