NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — So far, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department hasn’t opened the portal for hunters to apply for antelope season. And wildlife experts fear it could be a tough hunt.

This week, the department began its aerial survey in which pilots will fly over units in western North Dakota and count the antelope.

Biologists are looking for pronghorn abundance, how many bucks and does survived the winter and how many fawns were born.

The survey will take about two weeks, so far, Game and Fish supervisors admit antelope numbers will likely be down.

The Game and Fish hasn’t had to cancel the pronghorn season in over 10 years.

“Last year was the first year we were finally able to expand to the entire state, so it took a long time for us to get back to that point where we could open up all the units and so now after one bad winter, we’ll see how much of a hit we take,” NDGF Assistant Wildlife Division Chief, Bill Haase said.

So far, North Dakota’s antelope season is set to open on Friday, October 6.