Opening day of regular season deer hunting is Saturday, November 18 in most areas of Western and Central New York. Hunting will stir the deer population, which is already active due to mating season. AAA is warning motorists to buckle up, be extra cautious on the roads, and scan for deer and other animals.

AAA analyzed New York crash data and found that October, November, and December are by far the peak months for animal crashes, notably deer, in the Empire State. November is typically the most active month of all since it is the height of deer mating season.

There were 36,743 animal-related crashes statewide in 2022, which is up 7% from 2021. That’s equivalent to one animal-related crash every 15 minutes. Of the 36,743 crashes, there were 1,675 injury animal-related crashes and two fatal crashes.

AAA analyzed New York State data, and here are the top 10 counties for animal crashes in 2022:

  • Orange (1,633)
  • Monroe (1,490)
  • St. Lawrence (1,449)
  • Oneida (1,395)
  • Jefferson (1,281)
  • Suffolk (1,216)
  • Ontario (1,201)
  • Onondaga (1,070)
  • Erie (1,052)
  • Ulster (950)

Motorists should be especially vigilant at sunrise and sunset. Deer crashes often occur outside daylight hours. Crashes are most common near sunset and in the evening.

AAA offers the following tips for avoiding or mitigating deer crashes:

  • Scan the shoulders of the road in front of you. Deer may dash out from the shoulder or wooded areas adjacent to the road. They often travel in herds.
  • Follow the speed limit. Lower speed will give you more time to respond to unexpected wildlife movements.
  • If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane. Swerving sharply to avoid an animal can often cause a more serious crash.

For more insurance tips or to ensure that you are covered in case of a crash, simply go to