From Montana Public Radio:
Montana wildlife officials say the way they count wolves is too expensive and falls far short of an actual population estimate, so they plan to switch to a model that uses information gathered from hunters. Conservationists say they want to learn more about the new plan.
Nathan Lance, a wolf management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says, in the early years, wolves were counted by biologists from vehicles or helicopters. They were “literally counting wet noses on the ground,” he says.