It never freezes enough up here to completely shut off hunting. You just have to posess the knowledge, desire, stamina and equipment to get to the open water. What I like about the Panhandle is that unless you want to hunt the most crowded spots, you don't have to. We never have conflict with other hunters when we pick our spots this way. I will grant you the fact that So. Idaho has more birds, but I have always said that I'd rather shoot a few birds in a non "combat hunt" situation than scratch out a limit shoulder to shoulder with other groups. Life is too short for that kind of stress.