Last-minute gift: Bear viewing raffle tickets for McNeil River State Game Sanctuary


Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a novel idea for a gift for that someone who seems to have everything. You can enter to win a trip to the world-famous McNeil River State Game Sanctuary. The package includes permits for four days of bear viewing and funds towards your transportation, lodging, and gear. But the drawing for the winner doesn’t take place until April 2.

The official official non-profit partner, the Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska, is holding the third McNeil River State Game Sanctuary permit raffle. This fundraiser supports the conservation and management of non-game species in Alaska.

Learn more about the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary here.

The winner is entitled to a package of two guided viewing permits for McNeil River State Game Sanctuary June 15-18, 2023. The two permits enable access to the remote wilderness camp at McNeil River and award the winner two of the 10 highly coveted slots in the daily guided bear viewing group for all four days.

The raffle prize also includes $8,000 towards transportation to the sanctuary, lodging, and necessary supplies to make the trip to McNeil as memorable as possible.  During this permit window at the sanctuary, bears will be observed feeding on vegetation on the sedge flats in front of camp, fishing for sockeye salmon in Mikfik Creek, and pairing up for mating season. June is an exciting time to be at McNeil!. This is a perfect opportunity for photographers, adventurers, or anyone who appreciates wild Alaskan Brown Bears.

Every ticket purchased helps fund conservation and management of Alaska’s non-game species. Even if you don’t win a permit, we’re all winners when we contribute to conservation.

Cost: Raffle tickets cost $20 each, 6 for $100, 40 for $500, or 100 for $1000. An unlimited number will be sold.

Dates: Raffle tickets will be sold online until 11:59pm on April 2, 2023.

Drawing: One winner will be selected by random drawing and notified at noon on April 7, 2023.

Notification: The winner need not be present and will be notified by phone, email and published on the OHFA website:

Who: open to all; void where prohibited.

Permits: Winner will receive two Guided Viewing Permits from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, valid for viewing bears at the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary on June 15 to June 18, 2023.  The winner may assign these permits through the ADF&G to anyone they choose.

Proceeds: The Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska is a 501c3 charitable educational organization and the official foundation of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.  OHFA is offering this opportunity though ADF&G’s Special Access Permit program.  All net revenue generated from this raffle will be deposited in the ADF&G non-game conservation account.

Note: A person who won a McNeil River sanctuary lottery-issued permit from the ADF&G for the 2022 season is not eligible to visit the sanctuary in 2023; however, they may still purchase raffle tickets as a gift for someone else.   

Visit the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary website for more information on visiting the sanctuary:

For more information on ADF&G’s Lands and Refuges Program, visit


  1. Or you can do what one uncle did to show his love for his niece 18 years; he responded to her little girl
    question where is her gift to he said, ” i deposited it in an account.” when the niece grown up and was heading off to college her uncle shows up with a good size nest egg plus all the two’s conversations -or
    lessons- about financial literacy meant more to this niece than any toy this uncle could buy for her over the years. A story of wisdom i heard on my katb 89.3 fm radio. Also too critter campaign is happening at katb’s webpage where doners can buy the chickens, sewing machines, goats, oxen, plows to help lift some family in a third world country out of poverty just a little- at best make sell and
    buy easier for them, as well sharing the love God and his provisions.

  2. I’d be Very Suspicious of any raffles where they are not telling you how many tickets are actually being sold, and why are they raffling anything at all, the taxpayers pay for the management of wild life anyways, these agencies seem to have zero shame, always skimming for more money at every turn, where does all this nonsense stop.

  3. For those on a budget, you can give them a package of sunflower seeds and monogrammed bear bell (for later identification). They won’t even need to leave the city. There’s plenty of other things to attract these cute furry critters, but you don’t want to carry them in your pockets.

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