Every Hunter Has a Chance to Win the Hunt of a Lifetime

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Every hunter has a chance to win the hunt of a lifetime starting this year with the advent of Arizona's Big Game Super Raffle. In fact, nine super hunts will be offered through the raffle.

Here is how it works:

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission already set aside special tags for each of the big game species to be used in a super raffle to raise money for wildlife conservation. A consortium of conservation groups banded together to raffle these special tags. Every cent raised goes to the Arizona Game and Fish Department to benefit the big game species for which the raffle is held.

Special tags are available for desert bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, Coues' white-tailed deer, antelope, buffalo, turkey, bear and javelina. The public drawings this year will be held in Phoenix on July 8. The season dates associated with these special tags are 365 days per year starting Aug. 1, 2006, with few restrictions on hunting areas.

Sound exciting? For all the details, visit arizonabiggamesuperraffle.com.

The Big Game Super Raffle is an offshoot of a program that began in 1982 when a group of visionary sportsmen lobbied the state Legislature to create two special tags for each big game species to be sold via auction or raffle. Since its creation, the special tag program has raised a remarkable $11,238,794 for wildlife conservation in Arizona. A desert bighorn sheep tag once auctioned for $303,000.

"The special tag program has had an impressive history, yet for the everyday hunter, such hunts of a lifetime were typically out of financial reach - until now," says Game Chief Leonard Ordway. "Last year, sportsman's organizations worked with the Game and Fish Commission and got a bill passed in the state Legislature to make available a third special big game tag for each species. The Commission has directed for the third tag for each species to be available by raffle. Now all hunters have an affordable chance at these hunts of a lifetime."

Here is a list of the special tags and the cost per ticket:

*Antelope - $10 each
*Black bear - $5 each
*Buffalo - $10 each
*Coues' white-tailed deer - $10 each
*Desert bighorn sheep - $25 each
*Elk - $20 each
*Turkey - $5 each
*Javelina - $5 each
*Mule deer -$10 each

In addition to the special tag drawings, a raffle for an optics package of Swarovski products will be held. This package includes 15x56 ER binoculars, 10x42 EL binoculars, an ST-80 spotting scope with a 20-60x eyepiece, a Swarovski Laser Rangefinder and 4-12x50 rifle scope. An Outdoorsmans tripod with all the appropriate tripod adapters will also be included. Tickets for the optics raffle are $10 each.

The Super Raffle sponsors, in association with the Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Department, include the Arizona Antelope Foundation, Arizona Bowhunters Association, Arizona Chapter of Safari Club International, Arizona Deer Association, Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Arizona Elk Society, Arizona Wildlife Federation, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Mule Deer Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation and the Arizona chapters of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.