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Applications for McNeil River Bear Viewing Permits Due March 1


As many as 144 individual bears have been observed at McNeil River over the course of a summer with as many as 74 bears observed at one time.

Photo courtesy Drew Hamilton, ADFG

(ANCHORAGE) – The application deadline for lottery permits to visit Alaska’s premier brown bear viewing site at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary is fast approaching. Online applications must be submitted by midnight on March 1, or mailed and received by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game by March 1.

Online applications and printable application forms are available at www.mcneilriver.adfg.alaska.gov through the “Permits” tab and “Viewing Permits” link. More information about visiting McNeil River is available on the website or by calling (907) 267-2257.

A nonrefundable application fee of $25 per person is required and up to three people may apply together as a group. Applications are entered into a lottery and if drawn, Alaska residents must pay a $150 permit fee and nonresidents $350.

Located 100 air miles west of Homer, the McNeil River hosts the world’s largest known gathering of brown bears; hundreds of people apply each year for permits to watch bears drawn to the river to feed on migrating salmon.

Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation

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