Hibernation occurs during cold winter months when food is scarce. Animals that hibernate lower their heart rate and breathing in order to need less food to survive. Some animals eat extra before hibernating in order to store fat while other animals store food.
Animals can come out of hibernation anytime between February and May as the weather becomes warmer. Hibernation may seem relaxing, but animals are often weak and hungry when they emerge. The first thing they do after emerging is hunt for food.