Governor's Permits
Program Overview

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game began offering big game harvest permits for auction or raffle in 1997. Since then, over 40 different nonprofit organizations have participated in the program, generating over a million dollars for state wildlife management projects. The funding generated by the program is deposited, along with all other hunting license and tag fees, into the Fish and Game Fund. The Fish and Game Fund is used as match to the federal Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration program. Auction revenue leverages more funding, largely for big game projects.

Permit Programs

Alaska offers two different types of Governor's permit programs: big game permits and partnership permits. The rules governing which organizations are eligible to participate, the species and number of permits that are available, and disbursement of the proceeds differ for each program and are described below.

Big Game

Under AS 16.05.343(c), any nonprofit organization dedicated to fish and game law enforcement, management of hunted game species, or use of game populations for hunting may apply to auction a big game permit. Big game species include Dall sheep, bison, musk ox, brown or grizzly bear, moose, caribou, wolf, mountain goat, elk, and black bear. Up to three permits for Dall sheep, two permits for bison, and four permits for the remaining big game species listed may be auctioned per year under this program. An amount equal to administrative costs plus up to 30% of the net proceeds may be retained by the organization; the remainder is used to fund state wildlife management programs. A complimentary hunting license and big game tag will be provided to winners of these permits.

Qualified organizations may request a permit for any draw hunt in the state with an open season for nonresidents. Draw hunt information can be found on our website at the Alaska Drawing Permits page. You must request a specific draw hunt (e.g., Tok Management Area sheep hunt DS 102); general requests such as "any bear" or "any moose" will not be considered. The department, at its discretion, may choose not to offer a permit for a specific population/hunt during any given year. Permits will be awarded as follows:

  • You may request up to five permits; however, a maximum of three will be awarded to any one organization.
  • No more than one harvest permit per species will be awarded to any one organization.
  • Only one permit will be awarded for a particular wildlife population, i.e., not more than one Delta bison permit, one Tok sheep permit, or one Unimak brown bear permit will be awarded under this program each year.
  • Final decisions on awarding permits are made by the Director, ADF&G Division of Wildlife Conservation.

Partnership Program

Under AS 16.05.343(a), any nonprofit organization incorporated in Alaska with an existing partnership agreement with the Department and that was established to promote education in outdoor traditions and conduct conservation and wildlife protection programs may apply to auction one Delta bison and four Etolin elk permits per year. Up to 100% of the auction or raffle proceeds may be retained by the organization. The winner of this permit is not eligible for a complimentary hunting license or big game tag.