It appears moose hunters in New Brunswick enjoyed a banner year.

By the time the hunt ended Saturday, they'd harvested 3,801 moose — 366 more than last year, according to the Department of Energy and Resource Development's preliminary figures.

The 11 per cent increase comes even after the province had warmer-than-normal temperatures at the beginning of the season last week, which generally makes moose less active and harder to hunt.

The harvest set a record as the largest since moose hunting was reopened in New Brunswick in 1960.

Charlie LeBlanc, the president of the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation, hasn't had a chance to talk with his members about the hunt, but he said the record year was a good sign.

LeBlanc said he thinks it shows the herd is strong.

"The herd's always been maintaining its own," said LeBlanc.

Moose numbers 2014-17
Year Adult males Adult females Calves Total
2014 2,645 361 41 3,047
2015 2,593 1,043 93 3,729
2016 2,378 968 89 3,435
2017 2,754 964 83 3,801

LeBlanc said the relatively late moose season may also explain some of the numbers.

"This is one of the latest seasons we've had," said LeBlanc. We "were almost into October."

LeBlanc said he would like to see the data broken down by wildlife management zones to see how the southwest of the province, which gives out fewer tags, fared.

The province handed out 4,735 moose licences this year, including 100 non-resident licences, putting the success rate for hunters at more than 80 per cent.

This year marks the fourth year the province has had a five-day moose hunt. Before 2014, the season was three days long.