Groundhogs in Ohio

Did he see his shadow? According to our friend Punxsutawney Phil, there will be 6 more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow this morning.  However, Ohio’s own Buckeye Chuck says it will be an early spring after not seeing his shadow. So who will be right!!?!? It’s the main question of the day as we celebrate Groundhog Day! So let’s do a spotlight on this furry little guy.
When Ohio was first settled, groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, were a rare sight. However, as Ohio’s forested land was cleared for agricultural production, the number of groundhogs increased. Today, groundhogs can be found in all of Ohio’s 88 counties as well as throughout most of North America. Groundhogs are prevalent in the sandy gravel soil of east-central Ohio.
Groundhogs must put on a thick layer of fat to survive their hibernation through the winter months. In the early fall, groundhogs begin to ready themselves for hibernation by spending most of their time eating. Hibernation comes to an end as the first warm days of spring arrive. This is when the groundhog will see, or not see, its shadow (according to legend)!
For more info on this species from our Ohio Division of Wildlife, head to…/animals/mammals/woodchuck-goundhog. #WildOhio

Information courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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