A celebrity bowhunting couple who posted a video of a trophy killing on social media has been fined $133,000 for being involved in the largest poaching ring in Nebraska history.
Josh Bowmar, 32, and Sarah Bowmar, 33, of Ohio were convicted last week by a federal judge of illegally hunting and using bait for white-tailed deer and turkeys in Nebraska without a permit.
The couple were accused of participating in more than a dozen hunting tours with Nebraska-based Hidden Hills Outfitters between September 10, 2015 and November 6, 2017.
In doing so, they allegedly violated the Lacey Act, which prohibits illegal trade in wildlife, fish, or native plants.
Bowmars was found to have used pickup trucks, SUVs, and trailers to illegally transport deer and turkeys, in whole or in part, to homes and other locations in Ohio.
Josh Bowmar, 32, and Sarah Bowmar, 33, have been fined $133,000 for their involvement in the largest poaching ring in Nebraska history.
The Bowmers were found to have illegally transported whole or part deer and turkeys to their home in Ohio using pickup trucks, SUVs and trailers.
The sentencing came after the Bowmers pleaded guilty to misdemeanor conspiracy charges in Nebraska District Court on October 19. In exchange, four other more serious charges, including illegal feeding, were dropped.
In addition to having to pay a fine, the couple was sentenced to three years of probation, during which they were banned from hunting in Nebraska in any form.
Defendants in this lawsuit included two Bowmars and their company, Bowmar Bowhunting LLC, located in Ankeny, Iowa. Each was fined $25,000.
The couple also plans to pay $13,000 and $44,000 monetary judgments to the Nebraska Games and Parks Commission in lieu of forfeiture of property. Josh Bowmar and Sarah Bowmar are also required to do 40 hours of community service.
The Bowmer family was a small part of a huge Nebraska poaching ring led by their friend Jacob Huftl, who was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison in Yankton, South Dakota.
His 60-year-old father was sentenced to probation. During the illegal ring collapse, federal wildlife officials seized dozens of white-tailed deer.
In total, authorities convicted 39 people for participating in the ring and collected more than $750,000 in fines, restitution and forfeiture. This group was responsible for capturing at least 97 large animals.
The Bowmer family were a small part of a large Nebraska poaching ring led by their friend Jacob Huetle (pictured).he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison
Federal wildlife authorities seized dozens of white-tailed deer during illegal ring destruction (pictured)
Josh and Sarah Bowmar (pictured) are also required to perform 40 hours of community service.
In December 2016, another video was posted on the couple’s YouTube channel, showing Sarah Bowmar hunting a wild turkey.
The original indictment, dating back to 2020, said Bowmer was involved in “videotaped archery hunting of white-tailed deer, mule deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife species, primarily in multiple states and countries.” was
They and more than 30 co-conspirators “use large numbers of HHO feeding stations to locate and identify potential target deer, maximize hunting effectiveness and success rates, and attempt to kill specific trophy deer.” was used.”
“Defendant regularly videotaped and photographed the hunt for the purpose of creating, producing, and distributing the content to the public through online BBH business platforms such as internet websites, Instagram pages, and YouTube channels.”
One video posted to the channel on January 5, 2017 shows Josh Bowmer shooting a white-tailed deer. In the video, he describes how a deer’s antlers fell off after he shot an arrow at it.
The indictment cites the video, which was filmed during a Hidden Hills hunt, stating that “Josh Bowmer Within high-feeding areas, we sought out specific trophy-sized white-tailed deer with double corkscrew drop tine antlers.
“Defendant Josh Bowmer was looking for a particular white-tailed deer named ‘Snowflake,'” it said.
In December 2016, another video was posted on the couple’s YouTube channel, which has over 300,000 subscribers. In this video, Sarah Bowmar is shown hunting a wild turkey. This is another misconduct she was accused of in her indictment.
The couple claimed that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hacked into a stealth camera app without a warrant during an investigation into their involvement in a Nebraska poaching ring.
In 2020, a judge dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fisheries and Game Service.
The couple are known to use the courts aggressively, suing the U.S. Fisheries and Game Service in 2019.
The couple claimed authorities hacked into a stealth camera app without a warrant during an investigation into their involvement in a Nebraska poaching ring.
They also claimed that agents from the department had secretly monitored Sarah Bowmer hunting in the woods for months, invading their privacy by watching her urinate in the bush.
In 2020, a judge dismissed their case.