Friday, December 31, 2010

Do Raccoons Hibernate?

Do Raccoons Hibernate?, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

If you are asking the question do raccoons hibernate in the winter, the answer is not so simple. There are times when the animal does sleep for long periods of time. The raccoon is also known for waking up from time to time and leaving the den area. This can also depend on the region because in warmer climates, raccoons may not hibernate at all and they may stay active all year round. So it may be impossible to answer the question, do raccoons hibernate during the winter, because of all the variables.

Another thing that can affect hibernation is mating. This occurs at the end of winter in January and February. During this time, raccoons are very active and although they are nocturnal, they can be seen during the day while trying to locate a mate. But most of the time, if the temperature goes below 25 degrees; a raccoon will retreat to the den. In some areas this happens frequently but in other areas it occurs only once or twice during the winter months. Where do raccoons hibernate in the winter?

Raccoons retreat to their dens to hibernate and they are usually located in hallowed out logs and trees. They can have more than one of these dens and they will sleep in the one they feel the most secure in, at the time. Although they are known for living in trees, they can also burrow under the ground to make dens. But unlike other animals that hibernate alone, the raccoon will hibernate with others. It isn’t unusual to see many raccoons hibernating together.

I found this guy yesterday scavenging in the snow, which brought up the question, do raccoons hibernate. Not on this day!

Uploaded by Hannibals Animals on 31 Dec 10, 5.30AM CST.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Welcome Outdoor Blogger Network!

Hi Guys! Thanks for clicking through to my lil ol blog! For those of you who are regulars and don't know what I am talking about, I've been featured on their site. More on that later...

I thought I'd better feature something good for you new folks, so I pulled out a biggie, for me at least...

This image is a teaser:

I have much better photos of this creature, including portraits and up close with prey shots, but I've been saving the series until something possibly great (for me) to happen, which should be in a few months. So, now I ask for a little audience participation. I need you all to hold your breath. O.K., inhale...hold it...hold it...
Why? I'm hoping to score the cover of a magazine I submitted to. I have had contact with the editor, and she is considering me for the cover. Wouldn't that be cool? I've never even attempted being published before, and on my first try, the cover?!? I'm pretty excited!

So there you have it! Take a guess at what it is! Hint: This guy is no ordinary creature, he's a very rare color morph. Go ahead, take a shot!

Now for those bloggers who don't belong to the Outdoor Blogger Network, go ahead and click on the logo I have featured on the upper right hand corner. You will find it worth a look. These people have everything you need wrapped up in one site. They feature blogs from around the country in their blog directory, have lots of giveaways and even do gear reviews. Wear their badge proudly, as I do, and you might even get their "Spotlight of the Week". Check them out! I love those guys! Just look at what they wrote about me, it cracked me up! Thanks Outdoor Blogger Network!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow buntings

I love when these guys come around! They all have such unique markings!

Tufted Titmouse

McKinley Woods State Park

A rare treat to get so close to one of these guys.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hawk Eyes


I had a close encounter with a juvy Red-tailed Hawk the other day. Not only was it special to be so close and not disrupt him too much, but to take in the details of this beautiful bird. Had it been optimal conditions, they might have turned out a bit better, but I can't complain of the experience. What I noticed most with this guy was his eyes and the orange ring around the pupil. When he was eying his food, you could read the intensity of his eyes. Take a look at the next photo. I think he is eating an opossum at about 20 feet away. It was overcast so getting the settings right was frustrating!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Feeding Frenzy


So I'm bored out of mind, sitting in my car, waiting for something to happen at a local backwater pull-in. All of a sudden the sky came alive with seagulls in a frenzy for feeding on the shad which happened to be just a few feet away in the shallows. It was awesome as I aimed in any and all directions. I love when that happens!


Friday, November 19, 2010


I had a very lengthy session with this Kingfisher, which is quite unusual for these anti-social Fisher-Kings!
He is sharp on his toes though, as I saw a Cooper's Hawk torpedo after him and he managed to maneuver his way away from death.

He preened...

Caught fish...

Took a bath...

Dried off...

And posed with his prize for a sillouette...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Grief!

Good Grief!, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

We all prepare for that moment that will happen at any minute. We have our cameras on the ready, settings fixed to the upcoming conditions, ready to fire. We sweep the areas we know that are best known for producing our subjects, all the while, driving carefully as we go. Sometimes, we get into a routine as we visit those same areas and we stumble on a surprise waiting for us that we are kind of blind to in those in-between areas. Here is an example. This guy was just a few yards off the road at an area just a hint past a "good spot". I was looking back at the road. He would have been perfect. I slowly passed him by before I saw him out my passenger side window. I put the car in reverse ever so carefully, but we all know what happened. What was I thinking...They could be anywhere right now, and he was. The grief, the pain, the self abuse...The best I could manage was a grunt so he stopped, but not before hiding behind this tree like Charlie Brown, ruining the shot!

I was schooled by an old buck and paid the price!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Very Lucky Buck

Very Lucky Buck, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

I was driving on a busy highway to my favorite area to look for bucks. I see ahead of me, a buck in the ditch running along a fence line, trying to get in. Luckily, no traffic was approaching him, so I slowed to a crawl and followed. He made his way down a few hundred yards, turned around and ran back the other direction. Still, no traffic. He turned around again a few hundred yards behind me, so I pulled into a driveway, watched for traffic and waited. I was ready to jump out of the car and flag people to slow down if I needed to but I didn't. He came closer, saw my car obstructing his path, then decided to cross the road to safety. Very Lucky Buck! What an impressive rack with 15 tines and one extremely exhausted fellow.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2011 Wildlife Calendar by Peggy Hanna

I am taking orders for the "2011 Wildlife Calendar/Photos by Peggy Hanna"

Here's the technical:
12 page/month+cover. Each month features a different photo shot locally. Each page is 8.5x11" glossy stock & spiral bound. Fully opened measures 11x17".

WHAT YOU GET: 11 Point Buck, 2 different Owls, Wood Ducks, Pheasant Rooster Fight, Portrait of a Fawn, Raccoon Babies, Fox kit, Tree Frog, Chipmunk cheeking acorns, Droptine Buck, Canada Geese posturing.

Here's a preview:

Price: $15.00 local delivery
+$5 shipping for out-of-towners.

Place your orders in comments or thru email. We can work out payment options there.

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Spike, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

A portrait of this young buck in the early morning light.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Maturity, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

Not quite a Bruiser, this buck needs at least another year before he can claim his own territory and win fights over does. He can sniff them, just not win their hearts, unless he gets really lucky...
He's pretty good lookin tho...


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making Faces Behind a Bucks Back

I just thought this looked funny!

Spike came up to this guy and nudged him for a bit of play sparring. He obliged...


Monday, November 1, 2010

Tall Tines

Tall Tines, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

I liked this unusually shaped (non-typical) rack, especially the extra tall brow tines. His neck isn't swelled too much, but another week and he should really show that the rut has begun! Note: It looks as if one of his tines was damaged, but its an old wound I think.

Tall Tines



Friday, October 22, 2010

A Conversation with Buck

I spent some serious quality time with this fella. If I didn't know any better, I'd say he was trying to woo this cougar, I'm just saying...I shot over 300 frames, and even some video, as he sniffed, stomped and licked. I gave him my best "bleat" which must have been pretty good, as he stomped a few more times. It was a great moment!

Uploaded by Hannibals Animals on 22 Oct 10, 7.34AM CDT.


Curious, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

I got some pretty good looks at this backlit fawn along with her mother who was also curious enough to taste the air trying to identify what I was.
Those big ears are ADORABLE!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Thirst, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

A Non-typical 6x5 Buck caught my eye about 300 yards away taking a morning drink before disappearing into the forest.

Des Plaines Conservation Area

A favorite spot of mine...

A dried up creek bed that feeds in the Kankakee River.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Promising, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

This young guy has a promising future with a rack like that!


Sushi, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

This guy ate these like popcorn.

Thigh Deep in Green

Thigh Deep in Green, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

Sometimes we bypass the usual creatures to get to the rare. I just liked his pose as he landed, and if given the chance, I always practice the flight shots with these guys.

Fly By

Fly By, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

I was unpacking my gear from the car to take some scenics when this guy landed on the ground on the other side of the car. I took aim, he took flight and this is the result.