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Appreciate warm days

The occasional warm days in winter not only bring people out of their houses but some animals take advantage of the warm days also. Wildlife that has been seen recently is chipmunks, skunks and raccoons. These animals are not true hibernators; th...

The occasional warm days in winter not only bring people out of their houses but some animals take advantage of the warm days also. Wildlife that has been seen recently is chipmunks, skunks and raccoons. These animals are not true hibernators; they slow down their metabolisms and take long winter rests.

Animals such as skunks and raccoons congregate together in a communal den, usually one male and several females. This is beneficial for both warmth and breeding purposes as their breeding season runs from February to March. Skunks and raccoons awake from their dens during warm spells and venture out to find food or a potential mate.

According to wildlife biologist Greg Kessler, chipmunks become largely dormant, living in underground burrows and living off stored food rather than stored fat resources like the true hibernators.

  • The Brule DNR office recorded 5.5 inches of fresh snow since Feb. 15, bringing up the snow depth to 15 inches. It is now a perfect time to look for fresh animal tracks. Check out the Wisconsin DNR's EEK site to take a tracks quiz for beginners at dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce /eek/cool/trackQuizLVLOne.htm.

The fresh snow is also nice for the skiers at the Afterhours Ski Trails. The groomers are reporting that the trails are in excellent shape.

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