Tahlequah Daily Press

December 9, 2013

Shooting victim to be released from hospital

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A hunter shot by an unknown shooter in the Welling area late last month expected to be released from the hospital Saturday.

“I am making good progress with my physical therapy and plan on getting to go home Saturday,” 27-year-old John Mason said Friday morning. “As for surgery, I have none planned for a few weeks; I will know something soon about which one I will be having next.”

Mason was shot in the arm while leaving U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land on South 540 Road Nov. 29, at around 5:45 p.m.

His father then drove him to a Tahlequah hospital before Mason was flown to Tulsa for treatment.

Investigators have been asking for the public’s help in identifying the shooter. They are also hoping to locate the driver and passengers of a bright-red, newer-model Dodge truck that was seen in the area before and after Mason was shot.

The state’s department of wildlife, through Operation Game Thief, has offered up a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter. The state’s association of game wardens has also offered up $500.

Investigators say they’ve garnered no new leads in Mason’s shooting.

“I have not received any real news on the police case but we will continue to ask questions in hopes that someone comes forward with any new information,” Mason said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call sheriff’s investigators at (918) 456-2583. Callers can also provide information anonymously by calling Operation Game Thief at (800) 522-8039 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; or by calling game wardens Brady May at (918) 431-2552, or Tony Clark at (918) 431-2562.

Callers should explain they want to remain anonymous and report information under Operation Game Thief.

Friends of Mason searched the Welling area where the shooting occurred and located two .30-06 shell casings. Those were later turned over to deputies, who sent the casings to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for analysis.