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Social media hunting stars and their company ordered to pay more than $100,000 and probation for hunting in Nebraska

By Andy Rose, CNN

Josh and Sarah Bowmar, a couple with a strong following on social media for their hunting videos, were sentenced Tuesday as part of a plea agreement for breaking hunting regulations during some of the events they posted online.

The couple — along with their company, Bowmar Bowhunting — were placed on three years probation and ordered to pay more than $130,000 in fines, restitution and forfeiture.

The terms of their probation include that the couple “shall not hunt or otherwise engage in any activities associated with hunting, limited to within the District of Nebraska,” according to court documents.

The Bowmars were accused of conspiring with a hunt guiding and outfitting company in Nebraska to illegally hunt deer using bait traps. Under Nebraska law, a hunter cannot kill big game or turkey within 200 yards of where food has been left as bait. Prosecutors also alleged Sarah Bowmar killed a wild turkey without a valid permit.

It is a violation of the federal Lacey Act to break hunting laws in one state and take the illegally obtained game to another state, and federal prosecutors alleged the Bowmars illegally killed the deer and turkey in Nebraska, then took them out of the state.

The Bowmars and their company entered guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy and the government dropped four other counts.

The couple received no jail time.

In a statement sent to CNN, Josh and Sarah Bowmar said that they felt that the prosecutors’ decision to drop the baiting and poaching charges was “fair and true to what happened with that outfitter 9 years ago.”

“We did plead guilty to conspiracy, which means we should have known better about hunting at that outfitter and should have paid more attention to what was going on behind closed doors—but we did not, and for that, we take complete responsibility,” their statement said.

“We’ve learned some very valuable lessons from this experience and our mistakes and we look forward to doing our best to leave a positive footprint on the hunting community and involving our children in the boundless joys of the great outdoors.”

The Bowmar Bowhunting YouTube channel has more than 300,000 subscribers and its page has more than 340,000 followers on Instagram.

CORRECTION: A previous headline on this article inaccurately characterized the reason for the couple’s probation. They were placed on probation for hunting in Nebraska. The article was also updated to clarify a sentence about Nebraska’s hunting law.

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