What could be so popular that some call it Alaska's own version of Powerball? The hunting permit lottery.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is now accepting applications for the 2018 lottery on hunting permits. The department received more than 300,000 applications for the lottery last year and expects a similar turn out in 2018. 

For the vast majority of hunting in Alaska hunters don't have to go through a lottery process. However, particularly crowded hunts or special weapons hunts require draw permits. These types of hunts include most of the big game species: moose, caribou, bears and bison. People from around the world apply, but there are some permits set aside specifically for Alaskans, young people, and disabled veterans.

Getting one of the permits can sometimes take years, based on the luck of the draw.

Natalie Weber, who oversees the drawing, had to apply 19 years in a row before winning a permit she wanted.  

"It does feel very much like Christmas for our hunters," Weber said. "It's a pretty cool thing to get involved in. I was lucky enough to win a couple of these along the way. One of them was very special to me because I was a teenager. It was actually for the Delta bison, which is actually one of the more popular ones." 

The deadline to submit an application is Dec. 17. Winners will be announced in February 2019. 

More information on hunting regulations and the draw permit application are available on Fish and Game's website.

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