While most of the country looks to Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania, Michigan looks to Woody the Woodchuck for a glimpse at what type of weather is on the horizon.

Woody the Woodchuck is a Girl!

You just assumed that with a name like 'Woody,' Michigan's famed forecaster was a boy, didn't you? We made the assumption too, but the folks at the Howell Nature Center always refer to Woody using feminine pronouns.

Woody arrived at the Howell Nature Center in 1998 and has been making Groundhog Day predictions since 1999.

A local farmer's wife cared for her for a short time, and Woody soon became accustomed to being around people.

"She cared for her for a period of time before bringing her to our clinic, and unfortunately Woody became habituated to people during that time and never regained her wildness that would allow her to be released."

Woody the Woodchuck v. Punxsutawney Phil

Woody has been making predictions for Michigan's weather outlook for 26 years now, and has nearly a 70% accuracy rate, according to the nature center's Facebook page. Compare that track record to Punxsutawney Phil, who has only been right about 39% of the time since he first began making predictions in 1887.

Phil has gotten the forecast wrong seven out of the last 10 years, according to CBS. 

What is the Prediction for 2024?

As it turns out this year, Woody the Woodchuck and Punxsutawney Phil do not agree. Phil did not see his shadow this morning when he emerged in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, meaning he's predicting an early spring.

However, Woody the Woodchuck tells a different tale here in Michigan. As you'll see in the video below, Woody's prediction is for six more weeks of winter.

Woody, we trust your instincts.

Update: More Animals Added to Michigan's Year-Round Hunting List

The Michigan DNR has added the following animals to the state's year-round hunting list. Land owners may kill these animals on their property with no special permits required.

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

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