The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is offering up to $500 for information in the shooting of a deer hunter in Cherokee County last weekend.
The agency is offering the reward through its Operation Game Thief program (800) 522-8039.
The Oklahoma Game Warden's Association also is offering a $500 reward for information about the shooting.
John Mason of Tulsa was shot in the arm on Nov. 29 near Welling in Cherokee County, presumably by another deer hunter.
Mason was heading back to his truck after a day of deer hunting when he heard a shot. Before he could call to a shooter, a second shot hit him in the arm.
His father, who was hunting nearby, heard the shot and transported Mason to a hospital in Tahlequah, where he was airlifted to a Tulsa hospital.
Mason will need at least six months of physical therapy to recover.
The Cherokee County's Sheriff's Department said a red, four-door Dodge truck was seen in the area at the time of the shooting.
TWO HUNTERS DIE AFTER TREE STAND FALLS
There have been at least two hunting-related deaths this deer gun season from tree stand falls.
A deer hunter in Cherokee County died last weekend after falling from a tree stand and getting tangled in his harness, said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Another hunter in Pottawatomie County died from a head injury after falling while installing a tree stand before deer gun season opened, Meek said.
Over the last 20 years, Oklahoma has averaged about two hunting-related fatalities each year, Meek said.
“Some years we will have none,” Meek said. “People are getting a lot better about not shooting each year, but tree stand injuries are increasing.”
Hunter education courses now emphasize tree stand safety more than in the past, he said.
CLEAN-UP DAY SATURDAY ON LOWER ILLINOIS
Trout Unlimited chapters in Oklahoma City and Tulsa will partner Saturday to clean up the Lower Illinois river in eastern Oklahoma.
The clean-up begins at 9 a.m. All volunteers are asked to meet at the dam parking lot by 8:30 a.m.
Lunch will be served following the clean-up. The Lower Illinois River near Gore is one of Oklahoma's two year-round trout streams.
“This event is one of the most important things the state's two Trout Unlimited chapters do to help maintain one of the best fisheries in the state,” said Chuck Kaminski of the 89er Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS BEGIN SATURDAY
Birders across Oklahoma and the United States on Saturday will begin the National Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Counts.
From Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 each year, thousands of volunteers participate in the Christmas Bird Counts to identify birds and gauge population trends.
“For a bunch of people, this is their big event of the year in terms of birding,” said Mark Howery, a member of the Cleveland County Audubon Society who organizes Norman's Christmas Bird Count.
Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa have the oldest Christmas Bird Counts in Oklahoma, each starting more than 80 years ago.
This will be the 114th year for Christmas Bird Counts across the country.
To see a list of Christmas bird counts scheduled across Oklahoma and contact information, visit the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center's website.