Do Raccoons Hibernate

Do raccoons hibernate?  No, raccoons do not hibernate but the ones that live in the colder northern climates will sleep for days or even weeks at a time during the cold winter months.

Animals that truly hibernate enter a deep sleep that can last nearly the entire winter.  During this hibernation period their body temperature drops and their breathing slows down along with their heart rate.

Animals hibernate to help conserve energy.  Since food is usually unavailable during the winter, animals hibernate until the food becomes available again.  

The length of time an animal hibernates depends on the specific animal, climate, food source and many other factors.

So.......if raccoons don't hibernate why don't you see them very much during the winter?  It's because their typical food source such as frogs, fish, nuts, berries and insects aren't available.  

Instead of burning valuable calories searching for food that's scarce, it's more efficient to sleep until the food becomes available again.

Raccoons During The Winter

If you live in a climate that stays relatively warm during the winter, chances are you will see raccoons year round.  Since they can successfully find food in these warmer climates their is no need to conserve calories.

However, even if you live in the cold northern climates there are a few warm nights each year when raccoons leave their dens and search for food.

Growing up in northern Michigan my family always raised 'coon hounds. There's just something that's captivating about the sport.  We would train the dogs all year long until "raccoon season" finally arrived.  

We would hunt just about every night.  On the warmer nights the raccoons seemed to be everywhere.  Then, every year as the temperatures began to drop the raccoons would become harder and harder to find. Then, eventually it would become so cold out at night the raccoons wouldn't leave their den and it was pretty much a waste of time to go out and hunt.

However, even during the coldest winter months, mother nature would cut us a little slack and throw in a warm night every now and then.  It's amazing how those warm nights would get the 'coons moving.  The raccoons were hungry and the warm temperatures were a great time to come out and fill up their stomachs for the rest of the winter.  

Overall - Do Raccoons Hibernate

So, when asking the question "Do raccoons hibernate?" the quick answer in no.

However, their behavior is greatly influenced by outside temperatures so depending on where you live you may......or may not see them in the winter.  


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