A couple of controversial bowhunting influencers, who are known for showing off their hunting trophies to their thousands of followers on social media, have been fined $133,000 for allegedly taking part in trafficking animals in Nebraska.
According to KVPI, the two were sentenced last week in federal court in Omaha, where this poaching ring has been dubbed the largest in state history.
The two culprits, Josh Bowmar, 32, and Sarah Bowmar, 33, are from Ohio, and are among dozens of people who’ve been charged on dozens of illegal game-hunting excursions with the Broken Arrow, Nebraska-based, Hidden Hills Outfitters, from September 10th, 2015, and November 6th, 2017.
During those excursions, the two knowingly went after white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other animals without a valid license, along with using bait, according to the original indictment back in 2020.
The documents state that they had used numerous bait sites to “maximize their hunting effectiveness and success rate,” or “attempt to kill a specific trophy deer.”
The two would post their “trophies” to YouTube and Instagram, titled “Bowmar Bowhunting,” where they have over 300,000 subscribers and 342,000 followers.
The Bowmars transported their kills to Ohio and other places.
By doing that, they violated the Lacey Act, which prohibits “trafficking in fish, wildlife, or plants that are illegally taken, possessed, transported, or sold,” according to the New York Post.
As punishment, the Bowmars have been sentenced to three years of probation and 40 hours of community service, along with a $75,000 fine, $25,000 each plus their hunting company Bowmar Bowhunting LLC of Ankeny, Iowa, along with forfeiting $44,000 in property, and paying $13,000 in restitution to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The two are also no longer allowed to hunt in the state of Nebraska during their probationary period.
As a whole, 39 people were convicted, while a total of $750,000 in fines, restitution, and forfeitures were handed out as well, making it the largest poaching case in Nebraska history.
US Attorney Steven Russell shared:
“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.”