CRAWFORD, Texas – Protesters outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch were starting their second week of demonstrations Sunday, leading one neighbor to demonstrate the first signs of protest fatigue.
Larry Mattlage (search) created quite a stir earlier in the day when he fired his shotgun over his property. The Crawford rancher told reporters he was practicing for dove season.
Mattlage expressed frustration about the ongoing anti-war protest taking place near his property, and said other neighbors are also getting aggravated by all of the protest activity on their quiet country road.
"You want something like this in your backyard? Huh, or your front yard? This is our yard right here. We just happen to, in Texas, have a bigger yard than they do in Maryland," Mattlage told reporters.
"I mean, would you like somebody invading your house for a long time and blocking your view and blocking your road? I wake up every morning [with] this crowd, and I go to bed every night with this campground down here on a public road, which I'm paying taxes to, the middle of this road," he said.
Mattlage has been watching throughout the past week as more and more protesters join Cindy Sheehan (search) outside the president's 1,500-acre ranch. Sheehan's son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004. She says she wants U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq, and she will stay here until Bush speaks with her.
Bush has defended his decision not to meet with Sheehan, with whom he met once before.
''Whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job. And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life," Bush told Cox News Service during a bicycle ride on Saturday.
On Sunday, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean (search) said Bush should meet with Sheehan.
"Because the president sent her son to Iraq, her son lost his life. I think the president should meet with any parent who has sacrificed their son or daughter for the defense of the United States of America," Dean told a Sunday morning network talk show.
In 2004, Bush met with Sheehan and other grieving families. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who traveled with Bush the day he met with the families, described the president's mood afterward.
"I have seen him, I have seen his care, and I've seen him grieve. And I'm sure he wouldn't like to hear me say this, but I have seen him afterwards. He was very, very grieved," McCain told "FOX News Sunday."
After Sheehan was joined by other anti-war protesters, pro-Bush demonstrators also traveled to Crawford. One pro-Iraq policy demonstrator said those against the president are not from Texas. Others said if the anti-war protesters succeed in altering U.S. policy, it would put more troops in harm's way.
The increased traffic in Crawford did not affect Bush, first lady Laura Bush or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as they traveled Saturday night from the ranch to the Baylor University campus in nearby Waco, where the three attended the Little League Southwest Regional championship game.
But Mattlage said he is frustrated by the traffic — and subsequent side effects of it — in his neighborhood.
"We got a battle of the port-a-potties. They first started going to the bathroom in a five-gallon bucket, then they moved a port-a-pottie and then they got two port-a-potties, and now we got three and if this keeps up they will be all the way down the road," he said. "The only people winning here is the person who cleans the port-a-potties."
Mattlage said he sympathizes with Sheehan, but the crowd that has developed is akin to guests that won't leave.
"When they first came out here, I was sympathetic to their cause, all right. They as American citizens have a right to march, to protest, but it's like company. If you had your brother-in-law in your house for five days, wouldn't it start stinking after a while? You're ready for them to go home."
Mattlage said he respects the anti-war protesters and he respects President Bush, but he is frustrated because both federal and county law enforcement told him they can do nothing to end the anti-war protest.
U.S. Secret Service and McLennan County sheriff's deputies went to Mattlage's home on Sunday afternoon to urge restraint, and the situation appeared to calm down a bit after Mattlage spoke with law enforcement and vented to reporters.
McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch said Mattlage didn't violate any law by firing his shotgun on Sunday.
"He's on his own property. He's getting ready for dove season he says," Lynch said adding that had Mattlage shot across the road rather than on his own land, he would have broken state and county laws.
"Everybody needs to use restraint in this situation out here. This is a situation that's taken all these folks by storm and impacted a lot of businesses out here. But so far everybody's been compliant and that's what we are here for, the deputies are here to make sure that this continues on in a peaceful manner. Folks need to comply with all the rules and regulations in the state of Texas and county and that's what we are here for this morning," the sheriff added.
Mattlage said he loves Bush because the Bible tells people to love their neighbors. But he said he is not a politician and is not interested in the president's business.
"All I know, when he gets done with his presidency, he is our neighbor and all of you all and all of this protest is out of here," he said.
FOX News' Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.