In the western half of New Jersey – roaming deer is a definite known hazard when traversing the roads and landscapes of our fine state. At least to those who value their cars and safety!

Sunrise and Sunsets are peak times for deer movement in NJ

And we travel a lot – over far stretches of the Route 22 corridor and beyond. And in the evenings quite a bit.

Our anecdotal observations over thousands of trips, are that there is a definite “Deer Witching Hour,” where the activity is much more risky than other parts of the day.

If I had to guess – I’d say it’s about an hour before and an hour after last light. Not sure what the astronomical term is – because sunset is officially when the entire sun is beyond the horizon. Light remains for quite a while afterward.

We’re not morning people, but we suspect (and heard) it’s the same for the early morning hours at first light as well.

But when you’re traveling at these times – the number of deer on the side of the road is significantly higher than the rest of the day.

If there is one deer – there may be more! (and get off your phone!)

The most “common sensical” advice – is to keep your eyes on the road. Scan the sidelines. Look ahead. Be aware.

That of course, means you probably should value the driving conditions more than your social media timeline or instant messages. Why these kinds of tips still need to be communicated in 2019 is beyond us.

Also note that if you see one (especially in the late spring/early summer) that there is a good possibility that there are one or many more in the area.

So if you didn’t already know this – please let this serve as a reminder to be extra alert when traveling at this time of the day.

Have you ever hit or run over a deer?

We know, even with the best of skills – it may be impossible to avoid a deer collision. Because they sometimes dart out of the bushes and into harms way. So being in tune and aware should be your highest priority!

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.