Image of a Beaver

Do Beavers Hibernate in Winter?

As the seasons turn colder, beavers carefully store food near their dens to prepare for bad weather. While beavers don't hibernate in winter, they are less active and people spot them infrequently. A variety of factors keep beavers inside their homes and out of sight when temperatures drop.

Wintertime Beaver Activity

Beavers don't hibernate, but the animals keep themselves well hidden, so it may seem like they are in hibernation. They gather food and repair their dams and lodges after dark. For the patient wildlife observer, most beaver sightings occur just prior to sunrise or sunset.

Beaver dams create pools that are too deep to freeze completely in winter. By diving beneath the ice and using the underwater entrance to their lodge, beavers can easily escape from intruders without detection.

Depending on the climate, beavers mate in November or December. Their offspring usually emerge with their parents around March. Mating and caring for beaver kits takes place solely inside the den, which fosters the belief that beavers hibernate.

Problems and Control

Beavers' year-round foraging habits create falling tree hazards and lead to the erosion of stream and river banks. Dam building may also cause flooding on residential properties. Homeowners worried about damage due to beaver activity can contact the staff at Critter Control for wildlife pest solutions.