If the turtle is going into hibernation, then it would be wise to have the turtle seen by a Herp Vet prior to allowing the sleep. It is always hard on the turtle and we need to be sure that there are no medical issues going on. Once that is done we stop feeding two weeks prior to hibernation. This empties the stomach so that the food does not rot in the stoamch. We reduce the light cycle to 6-8 hours and allow nature to take it course. The turtle will burrow into teh sandy bottom of the tank and go to sleep. This link is for Red Eared sliders, but actually is the same for yellow belly cooters: http://www.redearslider.com/hibernation.html
Should I just stop feeding him until January or February?
I would withhold food and see if the turtle goes under for the brumation period. If still active and not burrowed away, he may not go down, but would at least stop for the next two weeks and see what happens. If he goes down for brumation then you do not feed until he has been up for a few days. Then he will start to eat again.
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