Scuba-trained members of the team investigated the site, and found 11 chipped stone flakes nearby the lanes, providing further evidence that the area was used as a hunting ground. The researchers think the flakes would have been used to repair and maintain stone tools.
Using a computer simulation, the team predicted where the caribou would have traveled during spring and autumn migrations, and identified two main choke points where the herds likely would have converged during both seasons. One of the two choke points fell directly within the newly discovered feature.
"The fact that all of the migrations tend to converge on these two locations ... would have provided predictability for ancient hunters, which is why we see so many structures located in these spots," study co-author John O'Shea, a researcher at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology at the University of Michigan, told Live Science.
Autumn was the preferred season for caribou hunting, because the animals were at their fattest and their hides were of highest quality at that time of year. Even so, the distinct orientations of the lanes and V-shaped structures show that the hunters would have been able to intercept the animals in both the autumn - when the caribou traveled southeast for the winter - and the spring - when the herds traveled northwest back up to their breeding grounds. The setup and size of the structures also suggests the hunters used different strategies during the two seasons, with large groups of hunters likely working together in the spring, and smaller groups working independently in the autumn, the team reports.