Presidential candidates woo outdoor enthusiasts

Ah, to be a member of a voting bloc in a swing state. It must make you feel so special. One such group being assiduously wooed by campaigning presidential hopefuls is the hook-and-bullet crowd, a.k.a. the hunters and anglers. Traditionally conservative sportsfolks are concentrated in states crucial to the candidates’ electoral fortunes, and unlike many conservatives, they take conservation seriously — so Kerry thinks he can snag a few, and Bush is in full pander mode. The president gave his only full interview in recent months to Field and Stream magazine, backed away from some plans to drill in the Rocky Mountains, and rescinded a proposal that would have reduced the acreage of protected wetlands. For his part, Kerry went goose hunting. Oh yeah, and voted consistently in favor of environmental protections for 20 years in the Senate.