The offense of carrying wool or sheep out of the country, formerly punished by fine or banishment.
But the ridiculous statutes against against owling have made it an offence to transport sheep out of this kingdom.
Arthur Aikin, The Annual Review and History of Literature
Offences against public trade are next in order: these are owling, smuggling, bankruptcy, usury, cheating, forestalling, regratiing, engrossing, monopolies, carrying on trades unlawfully, and transporting and seducing artists.
John Trusler, A Concise View of the Common and Statute Law of England
From the following report, made by Mr. Baker in December, 1703, it appears that the new law had by that time abated though it had not quite stopped the ‘owling’ trade along these coasts but that import smuggling still flourished.
Smuggling and Smugglers in Sussex
This word comes from the idea that ‘the smugglers of wool carried on their work, like owls, under cover of night,’ says the OED.