Groundhogs Hibernation Facts [When, Where, How Long]

Just as the query are groundhogs dangerous contains different answers, it gets hard to decide if they come in February, March, or April.

In general, the early spring (can be any month based on the weather) is when do groundhogs come out of hibernation.

To catch the point about their active time season, it would be better if you get the full idea about the behavior of groundhogs during hibernation. 

In this guide, I’ll explain when they arrive after hibernation. Plus, you’ll discover some of the amazing topics with the most-asked queries here.

Without bubbling around, let me walk you through it!

when groundhogs come out of hibernation

Groundhogs Come Out of Hibernation in Early Spring Which Can Arrive Different In Regions

Most if not all, woodchucks will pop out of their hibernation state to the landscape in the early spring from 1 March to 31 May in both US, UK, and Canada.

The spring season can come in different months based on geographic locations. For example, spring lasts from April to June in China while it can be from September to November in Australia.

It’s the perfect time to catch a groundhog without a trap if you are aware of the date when they will appear on your land.

Back to the topic, the time is ideal for them to come out of hibernation due to the temperature they feel safe roaming around.

You should know their temperature rate when coming out of the inactive state which is around 37.22° C (around 99° F) in general. Based on whether the spring season arrives, they can come quickly or late.

Wondering why would they come in this season only? Well, it’s for their social life and mating season to make it more specific, not because of ruining the farm! They gather to maintain their socialization and complete their mating needs during this season.

How Long Does a Groundhog Hibernate

In hibernation or inactive state, the groundhogs tend to live in the burrow during the winter season like dead creatures for more than 3 to 6 months on average. 

It can be different based on the freezing temperature rate. FYI, woodchucks will continue to stay in the inactive state unless the outside temperature changes from 2.78° C (around 37° F) to 37.22° C (around 99° F). 

If the winter doesn’t switch to spring, the hibernation state of groundhogs can take more than 6 months. Note that!

At What Months Do Groundhogs Hibernate?

As I have said above the duration, it’s time to reveal the months. During late October or early November months, the groundhogs start to live in their home under soil due to extreme freezing weather.

Then, they continue to stay in the hibernate state until the early March or April months based on the temperature. That means they stay from late October or November to March or April. 

This can be different based on the geographical locations of wintertime. Here are some of the examples:

  • United Kingdom: October to March. 
  • North America: December to March.
  • Canada: November to March.
  • South America: June to August.
  • China: December to February.

Groundhogs Preparation for Hibernation.

As the woodchucks must take more than 3 months for hibernation, they do many things before that to be ready. These includes:

1. Eat A Variety of Foods

Before the winter comes, the groundhogs would like to take more food than usual to abstain from food for 150 days during hibernation.

FYI, the woodchucks eat one pound of vegetables in one sitting before going to hibernate.

Prior to this state, they tend to consume fabulously rich food that contains a lot of protein to stay healthy. Plus, they eat nuts, beans, berries, grain, grasshoppers, and grasses to build body fat faster.

2. Digging A Safe Home for Themselves

Once they feel a little chill in their body, the groundhogs make a special kind of home by digging 8 feet (2.4 meters) under the frost line to maintain a stable temperature.

In case you are petting one and clueless about digging holes, it would be better to follow how to plug groundhog holes.

3. Go to Sleep Mode

Next, they will activate their sleeping behavior. In this state, the groundhogs will control the breathing technique in a unique way.

Normally, they will inhale and exhale around 16 times per minute. But when they settle inside the burrow the beating will slow down to 2 times per minute. During hibernation, the groundhogs will breathe one time per 6 minutes.

Due to their sudden change in breathing style, the woodchuck’s heart rate drops from 80 beats to 5 beats per minute.

After that, their body temperature of them will slow down which causes their heart and other essential organs to turn off. And then, they will go round like a ball and switch to sleeping mode. That’s how they prepare for hibernation!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do groundhogs eat to trap?

The sunflower seeds, peanut butter, cantaloupe, soybeans, broccoli, beans, and clover are some of the foods that groundhogs love to eat. Using these as bait will trap them easily.

2. Do groundhogs eat during hibernation?

No, they don’t eat during hibernation. Instead, the groundhogs eat before the winter months to stop making any movement.

3. What do groundhogs eat in the summer?

During the summer, groundhogs like to taste mulberry, leaves of maple, hackberry, and other similar foods. They also eat a minimal percentage of snails and other live foods.

Wrapping Up

In early spring, that’s when groundhogs come out of hibernation as you know by now. They have a special kind of habit of preparing beforehand to switch to this kind of inactive state.

Although it might seem weird for humans, it’s normal for them to stay like this and come out to join the social life as well as fulfill mating activities. They work hard find during the spring to locate the ideal mate.

So, don’t be afraid about your farms if spring arrives as they have other works to do too. Hope this piece of information helps!

About Dale E. Bitting

He is the founder of Rodents Info, where he provides comprehensive methods, tips, tricks, and techniques to keep harmful rodents at bay from homes and landscapes. As a rodents expert, he shares valuable information and resources to help safeguard properties against unwelcome critters. Dale is also passionate about nurturing and caring for harmless pet rodents. He offers pet parenting guides, tips, and advice to ensure these furry companions live happy and healthy lives. Join him as he explores the fascinating world of rodents and celebrates the joy they bring to our lives. Learn more..

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