Popular Hunting Couple Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy in One of Nebraska’s Biggest-Ever Poaching Cases

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: bridge99

After a well-known hunting couple was involved in what many call Nebraska’s largest poaching case, they recently altered their plea. A judge has given them a 2023 sentencing date for their alleged involvement.

Josh Bowmar and his wife, Sarah Bowmar, known professionally as Bowmar Hunting LLC, recently rescinded their not-guilty pleas from the poaching case with accusations dating back to 2015.

The couple withdrew their not-guilty pleas on Wednesday. Instead, the defendants plead “guilty” to Count 1 of the charges. This also comes with a plea agreement to drop Counts 2-5, per Wide Open Spaces.

GearJunkie first outlined the specifics of the couple’s most recent court appearance in public court documents. The couple’s sentencing is currently set for January 12, 2023.

Previously, the Bowmars long denied the allegations of poaching and baiting. However, they have openly confessed to hunting with the other accused parties throughout the periods that the case details.

In 2020, the initial news of the case filing and the Bowmars’ involvement spread through the hunting world. At the time, the hunting couple had gained a massive fanbase and turned their hunting lifestyle into several businesses.

In total, the bowmarbowhunting, joshbowmar, and sarahbowmar Instagram accounts have more than 1.5 million followers. In addition, their YouTube channel has more than 250,000 subscribers.

However, they weren’t without their controversial issues. For instance, when Josh legally hunted a bear with a spear, it caused a public backlash that resulted in him losing his Under Armour endorsement.

Couple pleas guilty in Nebraska poaching scandal, raises questions about hunting ethics

When the couple was first charged in 2020, they were suspected of a laundry list of crimes. These included hunting turkeys without a valid permit, moving game across state lines, baiting animals, and others. The charges resulted from the largest poaching sting operation in Nebraska’s history.

The pair created several companies and products in both the hunting and nutrition markets. Their supplement company, Bowmar Nutrition, has also seen legal woes centered around changing the nutritional value of its products. In addition, their old hunting behavior, including spearing a bear in Canada, has resulted in the loss of many sponsors.

Sadly, many deer hunters are still divided regarding the legalities and ethics of specific hunting tactics and practices. Almost every hunter has an opinion on hunting deer with dogs, deer drives, or high fence hunting.

One of the more prominent hot-button issues in the hunting world is using bait piles to draw in deer. As a result, many states have banned the tactic completely. However, the issue is multifaceted and complex. For instance, it raises questions about fair chase, the ethics of supplemental feeding of deer, and the problem of deer disease.