Talk about a WAKE-UP call…..I was opening a gate on a large ranch that I had listed in western Montana and was preparing for a prospective buyer and his agent to arrive. I have always felt that I am prepared for most any incident that occurs while showing large outdoor properties in Montana. However, sometimes, agents get caught being in too much of a hurry and forget about taking all necessary precautions. As I drove up to one of the gates on the ranch, I then quickly jumped out to open it. I noticed some ravens circling in the sky not too far off but did not see anything alarming. My main concern was getting the listing prepared and to have all the fields open for the showing. I heard an odd noise as I was unlatching the chain and looked up to see a griz charging at me! He was coming from behind some nearby sagebrush. As I soon realized, I was within about 50ft of where a bear had been feeding on a dead elk. At full speed, he was quickly within 25 feet of the gate where I was standing, so I started yelling and throwing my arms around. As everything was happening so fast, the only thing that I could think to throw for a distraction was my beloved black cowboy hat. (My bear spray and my 45 were safely tucked away in the truck.) The bear stopped when the hat came at him, hesitated, and then turned and ran the other direction. I stood there for a minute and thought how close of a call that was, WOW! Here I am in the open plains of Montana, completely not expecting to see a griz in these parts. Especially this time of year in early May, yet I realized you can never ever be too cautious. I took a few moments to catch my breath, walk over to retrieve my cowboy hat and thought how this just seemed so unreal. I am so grateful for that damn hat and have since decided to send my seller a bill for a new pair of pants!