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OUR VIEW: Hisses and cheers

CHEERS to Dick and Darlene Muth and Muth Electric for its significantly generous donation of $1.1 million to Mitchell Technical Institute last week.

When Dick Muth stood at the podium during Thursday night's announcement, it was evident MTI has played an enormous role in his life.

Mitchell Tech is getting some outstanding upgrades and endowment opportunities due to what's now the largest single donation to in the school's history.

This is quite the gift and a great, great way to give back.

CHEERS to the local chapter of Pheasants Forever, Pheasant Country, for its plan to put forth $150,000 to go toward more public hunting areas near Mitchell.

Last week, Pheasant Country made its announcement in hopes landowners would voluntarily enroll their acres into conservation and become state Walk-In Area. The initiative hopes to be a kickstart for local businesses to add to the fund. That way, with more public hunting available, more non-resident hunters will have more opportunity and bring their business to the region.

We love this work considering there is not any acreage enrolled in the Walk-In Area program in Davison County. But, we also recognize it needs to be the right fit.

We hope renters are not pulling acreage from farmers who crop the land to now put them in a tough spot. While it's great to have additional public hunting in the area, it's important to remember landowner relationships as well.

Speaking of pheasants, HISSES to the shocking figures that show thousands of non-resident pheasant hunters did not trek to South Dakota this year.

During the state Game, Fish & Parks Department meeting last week, officials said sales for small game licenses are down 18 percent compared to last year. As of Dec. 11, there were 67,651 licenses sold. That will impact the division's budget substantially, down about $1.7 million compared to a year ago. We recognize pheasant numbers and the annual brood count report play a significant role in how many people visit our state, but we never thought it would be this brutal.

Here's to hoping bird numbers rebound ASAP.