Dismayed by Enviro Policies, Some Anglers and Fishers Turn Against Bush

Put President Bush in waders or camouflage and, what with his cowboy hat and rugged Western looks, he could easily grace the cover of Field &amp Stream. Yet the hunt-and-fish crowd, normally a loyal constituency of the Republican Party, is increasingly unhappy with the commander in chief. The president’s efforts to roll back protections for clean water and open wild areas to industrial uses are drawing fire from hunters and anglers, who rely on protected areas to enjoy their chosen pastimes. Their displeasure could be a problem for the prez in ’04, given that some 34 million Americans fish and 13 million hunt. In a startling example of their discontentment, hundreds of gun clubs recently signed a petition asking the Bush administration to keep Clinton-era old-growth-forest protections in place.