A huge poaching investigation has led to charges for at least 30 people including one that has appeared on outdoor television and other media.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, hunting personality Rod Owen was among the poachers charged in what is being dubbed the Largest Poaching Case in Nebraska state history. Owen has appeared in Field and Stream and was on the reality hunting show “Dream Season” put on by Drury Outdoors.
Owen hunted in Nebraska with Hidden Hills Outfitters from 2015 to 2017 where he filmed two hunts that he submitted to Drury Outdoors, where he received $810 from Drury for one video and $3,067 on another. The illegal hunts were featured on Drury Outdoors Dream Seasons 13 and 14.
According to KRNV News, Owen hunted deer over bait in 2015, 2016, and 2017 while hunting with Hidden Hills Outfitters; including a 2015 white-tailed deer named “3-Way” (Featured in Dream Season 13), a 2016 white-tailed deer named “Dirty Harry,” and a 2017 mule deer named “Inline.”
In 2017 Owen initially wounded mule deer with a bow during the archery season. The following day Owen accompanied a Hidden Hills Outfitters owner and guide. The guide unlawfully finished off the deer with a rifle. After the kill, they only took the head, cape, and antlers, and left the meat to rot.
Owen was also charged with the unlawful killing of a pronghorn without a valid permit.
When Owen appeared as a guest on the 100% Wild Podcast where he talked up his illegal hunts and misrepresented himself as a hunter.
“You got to use all your different skills when you get out there,” he said of the Nebraska Sand Hills. “You got to play to win.”
There is no indication that Dury Outdoors had any knowledge of Owen’s misdeeds. In a statement, they said that they cooperated with the investigation and parted ways with Owen when they learned about his violations.
Owen was sentenced to five years’ probation for trafficking wildlife, a misdemeanor. Owen was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $25,000 and restitution in the amount of $25,000.
Owen now joins others in our “TV Poacher” Wall of Shame.