Celebrity couple fined $133,000 for participating in Nebraska’s worst poaching ring

A famous social media bow hunting couple who posted videos of their murders on social media have been fined for their involvement in Nebraska’s largest poaching ring.

Josh Bomar, 32, and Sarah Bomar, 33, of Ohio, were charged last week by a federal judge for illegally hunting deer and white-tailed turkeys in Nebraska without permits and using bait.

The couple was accused of going on more than a dozen hunting spree with Nebraska-based Hidden Hills Outfitters between September 10, 2015, and November 6, 2017.

In doing so they were said to have violated the Lacey Act, which prohibited illegal trade in native wildlife, fish or plants.

The Bowmars were found to illegally use pickup trucks, SUVs, and trailers to transport deer and turkeys, whole and in parts, to their home in Ohio, among other places.

Josh Bomar, 32, and Sarah Bomar, 33, were fined $133,000 for their involvement in Nebraska's largest poaching ring

Josh Bomar, 32, and Sarah Bomar, 33, were fined $133,000 for their involvement in Nebraska’s largest poaching ring

The Bowmars were found to illegally use pickup trucks, SUVs, and trailers to transport deer and turkeys, whole and in parts, to their home in Ohio.

The Bowmars were found to illegally use pickup trucks, SUVs, and trailers to transport deer and turkeys, whole and in parts, to their home in Ohio.

The ruling comes after Bomar pleaded guilty Oct. 19 in a Nebraska district court to a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy. In contrast, four more serious counts of illegal baiting were dropped.

In addition to having to pay the fines, the couple were sentenced to three years of probation during which they will be banned from any form of hunting in Nebraska.

The defendants in the case included two Bowmars as well as their Bowmar Bowhunting LLC of Ankeny, Iowa. They were each fined $25,000.

The couple will also pay $13,000 to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and a $44,000 cash judgment in lieu of forfeiting the property. Josh and Sarah Bomar will also be required to perform 40 hours of community service.

The Bomars were a small part of a massive Nebraska poaching ring headed by their friend Jacob Hoftel, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison in Yankton, South Dakota.

His 60-year-old father was sentenced to probation. During the bust of the illegal ring, federal wildlife authorities seized dozens of white-tailed deer.

In total, 39 people were convicted by authorities for their participation in the episode and more than $750,000 in fines, damages and forfeiture were collected. The group was responsible for taking at least 97 large animals.

Bomar was a small part of a massive poaching ring in Nebraska headed by their friend Jacob Hoftel (pictured).  He was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison

Bomar was a small part of a massive poaching ring in Nebraska headed by their friend Jacob Hoftel (pictured). He was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison

During the bust of the illegal ring, federal wildlife authorities seized dozens of white-tailed deer (pictured)

During the bust of the illegal ring, federal wildlife authorities seized dozens of white-tailed deer (pictured)

Josh and Sarah Bomar (pictured) will also be required to perform 40 hours of community service

Josh and Sarah Bomar (pictured) will also be required to perform 40 hours of community service

In December 2016, another video was posted to the couple's YouTube channel showing Sarah Bomar hunting a wild turkey, another illegal act she is charged with in the indictment.

In December 2016, another video was posted to the couple’s YouTube channel showing Sarah Bomar hunting a wild turkey, another illegal act she is charged with in the indictment.

In the original indictment, dating back to 2020, the Bomars were said to have engaged in videotaped shooting hunts primarily of white-tailed deer, mule deer, wild turkey, and other wildlife species in multiple states and countries.

They and more than 30 co-op partners have been charged with using “multiple HHO bait sites in order to identify and locate potential target deer, increase hunting effectiveness and success rate, or attempt to kill a specific deer.”

The Defendants regularly videotaped and photographed their hunts for the purpose of creating, producing, and distributing content to the public through their BBH online business platforms, including an online website, Instagram page, and YouTube channel.

One of the videos posted to the channel on January 5, 2017, shows Josh Bomar shooting a whitetail deer. During the video, he explains how a deer’s antlers fell off after he shot an arrow at them.

The indictment refers to this video, which was filmed during a Hidden Hills manhunt, and said that ‘Josh Bowmar Hunt for trophy-sized white-tailed deer with double screw pine antlers within a heavily baited area.

“Defendant Josh Bomar searched for a white-tailed deer named ‘Snowflake,'” the newspaper said.

In December 2016, another video was posted to the couple’s YouTube channel — which has more than 300,000 subscribers — showing Sarah Bomar hunting a wild turkey, another illegal act of which she is accused in the indictment.

The couple claimed that while investigating their involvement in the Nebraska poaching ring, the US Fish and Wildlife Service hacked into the ghost camera app without a warrant.

The couple claimed that while investigating their involvement in the Nebraska poaching ring, the US Fish and Wildlife Service hacked into the ghost camera app without a warrant.

In 2020, a judge dismissed their case against the US Hunting and Fishing Authority

In 2020, a judge dismissed their case against the US Hunting and Fishing Authority

The couple is known to use the courts aggressively, and in 2019 filed a lawsuit against the US Fish and Fisheries Commission.

The couple claimed that during an investigation into their involvement in the Nebraska poaching ring, the agency hacked into the hidden cameras app without a warrant.

They also alleged that agents of the department had been secretly watching Sarah Bomar for months as she hunted in the woods, and had invaded her privacy by watching her urinate in the bushes.

In 2020 a judge dismissed their case.

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