04/23/2015 05:35 EDT | Updated 07/20/2015 06:59 EDT

Hunters harvested a record 177 bison in the Yukon this past season

WHITEHORSE - Environment Yukon says hunters have harvested a record number of woodland bison thanks to favourable weather and maps indicating the herd's general location.

Government biologist Tom Jung says by the end of the season on March 31, 177 bison had been taken, compared to the old record of 162 animals in the 2012-13 season.

Jung says the department published four maps of the herd's general location to help hunters who also experienced favourable weather.

A census last summer estimated the herd at 1,470 animals, which has been reduced now to about 1,300 heading into the summer calving season.

The bison were introduced to the Aishihik area from Alberta starting in the late 1980s to diversify Canada’s woodland bison population, which is classified worldwide as a threatened species.

The government wanted to manage the herd at 500, but as the bison grew weary of hunters, the animals became more difficult to find and their population grew. (Whitehorse Star)