Iowa bowhunting couple gets probation, community service for hunting violations in Nebraska

Josh and Sarah Bowmar were accused of illegal hunts in Nebraska
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 11:17 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Two business owners have been sentenced after allegedly violating the Lacey Act.

Josh Bowmar, 32; Sarah Bowmar, 33; and Bowmar Bowhunting LLC; all from Ankeny, Iowa, were sentenced by Judge Michael D. Nelson on Thursday, Jan. 12, in federal court in Omaha for conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act.

The Lacey Act is a federal law prohibiting the trafficking of wildlife that was taken in violation of a law or regulation.

The Bowmars and their LLC pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act and were sentenced to three years of probation and 40 hours of community service each. They must also pay a $75,000 fine, a $44,000 money judgment, and $13,000 in restitution.

As part of their probation, the Bowmars are prohibited from hunting in the District of Nebraska.

According to the Department of Justice, an investigation determined that from September 2015 to November 2017, the Bowmars did roughly five hunts each year at Hidden Hills Outfitters, a commercial big game and outfitting business near the City of Broken Bow in Custer County, Nebraska. After the hunts, the Bowmars allegedly transported wildlife from Nebraska to Ohio. The Department of Justice says the Bowmars should have been aware they were not allowed to transport the wildlife according to Nebraska state law.

The Bowmars allegedly used social media platforms and their website to publish their activities at the hunting ground.

This is the last sentencing out of numerous defendants related to violations allegedly committed by owners, guides, and clients of Hidden Hills Outfitters. The Department of Justice says the investigation has seen 52 individuals in total commit violations involving illegal hunts at the business.