Hibernation is a state of rest that many animals go through to survive the cold winter months. They hide away in their dens and outlast the days of meager food and harsh weather by entering a deep rest. They stock up on food and water in the fall and usually do not emerge until the weather becomes warmer. But how long does the hibernation season last?
Length of Hibernation
The hibernation cycle can differ by species. For most animals in our area, this time can last anywhere between November and April, with most animals staying in hibernating for at least 3-4 months. Most hibernating animals will begin to emerge from their rest in March.
Reptiles such as snakes or turtles enter a state known as Brumation. This usually lasts 3 to 5 months. During this time, Brumating reptiles may burrow underground or hide in their den to wait out the winter.
Raccoons and some bat species enter what is known as torpor, which is essentially a lighter time of rest, where the animals are still fairly active, and not in full hibernation. This will still last around the same amount of time.
After Hibernating: The Mating Season
Hibernation deprives the animals of food and water. They usually come out of hibernation very hungry, and very energetically. This energy helps them find mates and procreate. In some cases, this pent up energy is released when males fight each other for dominance over potential mates. This drive to eat and reproduce can mean those wild animals could be looking for food at your house. After the mating is over, female animals will be looking for a place to den for their upcoming offspring. This can mean looking towards your home as a place to rest.