By Emily Cope
A celebrity bowhunting couple has been sentenced in Omaha federal court on charges of violating wildlife poaching laws.
Josh Bowmar, 32, and Sarah Bowmar, 33, were each sentenced to three years probation and 40 hours of community service on Jan. 12 in the largest known poaching case in Nebraska, reported the New York Post. They were guilty of violating Lacey Act, which bans “trafficking in fish, wildlife, or plants that are illegally taken, possessed, transported, or sold.”
The couple was among dozens of others who were charged with unlawfully taking big game animals with Hidden Hills Outfitters, a commercial big game guiding and outfitting business near Broken Arrow, Nebraska, between 2015 and 2017.
According to the original 2020 indictment, the couple hunted white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other animals without a valid license and by using illegal bait, reported the outlet. The indictment accused the Bowmars of using bait to “maximize their hunting effectiveness and success rate” and “attempt to kill a specific trophy deer” during commercially-guided hunting.
The Bowmars would then post footage of their hunting excursions and boast of their illegally-obtained trophies to their YouTube and Instagram accounts, both entitled “Bowmar Bowhunting,” which have over 300,000 and 342,000 subscribers, respectively, according to the outlet.
In October, the Bowmars pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court of Nebraska to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge of violating the Lacey Act, according to KPVI 6. As a result, the court dropped four other more serious charges related to illegal animal baiting.
A total of 39 people were convicted and over $750,000 in fines, restitution, and forfeitures were collected in the years-long case related to poaching with Hidden Hills Outfitters, according to the outlet. The bowhunting ring was involved in taking at least 97 game animals, including deer, pronghorn, and wild turkey. These included using prohibited guns and weapons, hunting during closed-season hours, and taking mule deer from conservation areas.
In addition to probation and community service, the judge ordered the Bowmars to pay a $75,000 fine — $25,000 for each of the Bowmars plus their Iowa-based hunting business Bowmar Bowhunting LLC — as well as $13,000 restitution and a $44,000 money judgment instead of forfeiting certain property, reported the outlet.
“This sentencing hearing marks the completion of all foreseen prosecutions of numerous defendants related to violations committed by owners, guides, and clients of Hidden Hills Outfitters,” United States Attorney Steven Russell said in a press statement, according to the outlet.
Emily Cope is a contributor to The Daily Caller.
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