North Carolina Man Gets Mixed Reactions After Running Over Multiple Copperheads With Golf Cart

by Craig Garrett
Northern Copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix, Controlled situation, Face details, PA, USA. - stock photo

A North Carolina man took it upon himself to exterminate some copperhead snakes, but the social media reaction to his boasting was mixed. Jerry Hurlbut told The Charlotte Observer that he and his golden retriever, Niki, came across a 3-foot copperhead while riding in their golf cart just after nightfall on Friday. He said the snake was “ready to attack,” but he didn’t give it the chance to bite him or Niki. Instead, he ran over the snake… with a vengeance.

Ever since he detailed his story on NextDoor, he’s been getting both called a hero and criticized by his neighbors. His tone may not have helped matters. Hurlbut posted a photo of a dead snake. “Golf cart 1, snake 0!!”, he captioned the image. As the photo demonstrates, the snake is close to 36 or 38 inches long. However, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, copperheads can grow up to a maximum length of 48 inches.

Hurlbut was out on a ride last week with his dog Niki on Wood Duck Loop in Mooresville. He rode over a snake and decided to turn back around and rollover the snake again just to be sure, when the viper raised its head as if getting ready to attack. After running the cart’s wheels over it once more, he didn’t see it anymore so he continued down the road. The next day he found the dead snake lying on shoulder of road.

No copperheads are safe from this golf cart

Hurlbut said that one thing is for sure- the snakes don’t belong in the neighborhood. He has vowed to kill any snake he sees. He mentioned that a couple was walking near where he killed the most recent snake, emphasizing how easy it would be for children or pets to chance upon one of these animals and get bitten. While a copperhead’s venom isn’t fatal to humans, it can cause long-term adverse health effects in animals. Also, Hurlbut clarified that treatment to rid a human of venom is expensive.

On Sunday, Hurlbut posted on NextDoor and has received more than 75 comments in response- many people taking the time to thank him. “You may have saved someone or an animal from getting bit,” one thankful neighbor posted.

A few NextDoor residents were unhappy about the snake’s death.“Did it need to die?” one user asked. “It’s really sad that people feel they have the right to take another life so easily,” another user commented. “And to make it suffer by running over it again and again. Live and let live.”

However, Hurlbut was unrepentant. I defended his actions on Nextdoor. “Who in the world would think the life of a large dangerous viper is worth risking a serious injury or death of an unsuspecting innocent child, adult, or pet??” In the meantime, Hurlbut continues to patrol for serpents in his trusty golf cart.