New Opportunity to View Bears at McNeil River
— ADF&G Press Release

Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526

Press Release: May 27, 2021

CONTACT: Joe Meehan, Refuge Program Coordinator, (907) 267-2281,

New Opportunity to View Bears at McNeil River

May 27, 2021 — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska (OHFA), the department's official non-profit partner organization, announce a special raffle for anyone wishing to visit the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary this summer.

The McNeil River sanctuary is located approximately 100 miles west of Homer on the Alaska Peninsula. Upwards of 144 individual brown bears have been documented feeding on the sanctuary's tide flats and salmon streams during summer with as many as 74 bears observed at one time. The Alaska State Legislature set this area aside in 1968 to protect these valuable resources. The ADF&G working with the Alaska Board of Game manages public access to the sanctuary to assure these wildlife resources are protected in perpetuity and to assure a quality experience for those that are able to visit.

Viewing the world's largest congregation of brown bears at McNeil River continues to be a highly sought-after privilege, with over 1,100 hopeful applicants vying for the few coveted permits issued by lottery each summer. The 2021 season lottery has concluded, and all permits have been issued; however, to provide an additional opportunity and to raise funds to help support ADF&G's programs, two permits are being offered through a raffle conducted by OHFA.

One winner will be selected and entitled to assign the two permits to whomever they wish (certain limitations will apply). The permit holders will also be provided lodging in Homer, Alaska, and seaplane transportation to the sanctuary.

Further information and online ticket purchases are available at OHFA's website at Individual raffle tickets cost $20, or 6 for $100, and 40 for $500.

Revenue generated from this raffle will help support wildlife conservation including projects in Alaska state sanctuaries and refuges, and education in outdoor traditions.