Hunting and trapping requirements call for a specific type of snowmobile to handle the extra load of equipment, gear, and the game you score. Utility machines of at least 500cc are the best snowmobiles for hunting and trapping because of their capacity to pull a heavy load and the extra engine power.
Reviews from seasoned sportsmen suggest Ski-Doo offers the most capable model with multiple reasons why.
The 2022 Ski-Doo Skantic SWT 900 Ace is the best snowmobile for hunting and trapping because of its powerful engine and transmission, its 1,500-pound load capacity for hauling gear and game, its 2-seat capacity, and a value for the price. It’s heavy duty with good fuel economy and wide tracks for traction in deep snow.
Best Snowmobile For Hunting and Trapping
The Ski-Doo Skandic SWT 900 Ace is a powerful utility snowmobile made for pulling heavy loads in all terrains and weather conditions.
The heavy-duty design features lightweight yet durable materials with innovative technologies that boost power while providing a smooth ride for up to 2 persons.
It’s a versatile machine that you can customize with a wide range of accessories, or keep the standard configuration from the factory for powerful load-bearing capacity, and exceptional performance in deep snow.
- Heavy Load Hitch Receiver – The Skandic SWT 900 Ace comes equipped with a heavy-duty rear bumper and a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds behind the sled and up to 125 pounds in the cargo space.
- Rev Gen4 Platform – The Rev Gen4 Platform is the next generation built of lightweight yet durable materials for optimum floatation and traction, precision handling, and maximized capacity on and off trails. Pilot 7.4 skis enhance floatation on ice and snow with positive steering when towing a load, thanks to updated technology in the design.
- Versatile Customization Options – The multi-LinQ plate adapts to LineQ accessories from 16 to 20 inches wide for maximizing accessory options with a choice of multiple configurations.
- 2-Seat Design – The seat is made for up to 2 riders, featuring handholds for safety and confidence, integrated back support, and comfortable materials.
- Premium Suspension Package – The SC-5U Rear Suspension is a sport utility component tuned to provide smoother riding on top of the powder and trails. An articulated rail maximizes traction in deep snow for towing and in reverse gear. The LTS front suspension is telescopic style with a flat belly pan enhancing floatation on deep snow.
- Rotax 4-Stroke Engine – The 899cc, 3-cylinder Rotax 4-stroke engine is powerful with 95 horsepower to pull through deep snow and traverse steep trails.
- Easy Shift Transmission – The Easy Shift Transmission shifts easily offering multiple gear ratios for variable scenarios for trail riding or hauling heavy loads with push-button reverse and high load resistance. Exceptional lubrication, with user options for HLN shift setups, quiet operation, and reliability make this a dependable and heavy-duty transmission you can rely on.
- Long Tracks – The track length is 154 inches. The tracks on the Ski-Doo Skandic Ace 900 are 1-inch longer than Arctic Cat’s comparable model, the Norseman X8000.
- Digital Display – The 4.5-inch digital display features a gauge cluster to inform riders of essential information in easy-to-read digital form.
Owners express their appreciation of the cleaner burning exhaust of the Ski-Doo Skandic SWT Ace 900.
There is no smell of exhaust even when the machine is pulling heavy loads. The 4-stroke is capable.
Performance is exceptional in -39 degree F temperatures. Some riders switched from the ETEC to the Skandic SWT Ace 900 claiming better fuel consumption for longer trips on a full tank.
The snowmobile cruises on flat surfaces easily at 80 – 90 mph. Owners are happy with the choice of Sport Mode for riding over big bumps or Normal or Eco modes that give you choices depending on the terrain.
The engine is very quiet which is another plus.
The price of the 2022 Ski-doo Skandic SWT 900 Ace is between $12,999 to $13,799.
The comparable utility snowmobile from Arctic Cat is the Norseman X8000, priced at $13,495.
You can find the Skandic 900 Ace for less money if you shop around, but the overall price ranges are comparable.
What I Like
- Trusted brand name for quality and performance with years in the snowmobile manufacturing industry.
- Heavy-duty utility snowmobile frame and suspension designed for the work involved with hunting and trapping.
- The price is in line with comparable top snowmobile brands.
- Longer tracks for enhanced stability and traction.
- 2-seat model for carrying a passenger
- High load capacity for heavy jobs.
What I Dislike
The engine is liquid-cooled vs. air-cooled.
The 2022 Ski-Doo Skandic SWT 900 Ace features a new REV Gen4 platform compared to older models, with enhanced responsiveness, handling, and exceptional floatation.
How To Choose The Best Snowmobile For Hunting And Trapping
It’s essential to determine how you plan to use the snowmobile, the distance you’ll ride, the terrain, temperatures, and other vital information.
The best snowmobile for hunting and trapping will safely transport you, your passenger, and your gear to your destination.
It can handle the terrain and pull the weight of the game back to camp without failure.
Here are five considerations to make before you decide which snowmobile is the best choice for hunting and trapping:
1 – Determine Its Use And The Rigors Involved
Before buying a snowmobile, think about where you’ll ride and the type of terrain and weather conditions you’re likely to encounter.
If you’re hunting, trapping, or both, what kind of equipment will you take with you, and how much does it weigh?
You will probably need to pull a cargo sled behind the machine. The engine will need sufficient power to pull the load.
If the area has deep snow or steep grades, wider tracks will help you to maintain traction. Look for a machine with a suspension that can handle deep snow without bogging down.
A heavy-duty utility snowmobile is the best type for working conditions that require carrying or pulling a heavy load.
The lowest power engine recommended is 500cc, but higher is better.
2 – Pay Attention To The Seat
The seat will dictate your comfort level and to some extent, how well you can grip the handlebars and control the machine.
It will also determine whether or not you can comfortably take a passenger on your journey.
Hunting parties may choose to ride solo,e, but for fuel efficiency, some prefer to ride double. If you’re taking a partner, choose a machine with a 2- seat capacity.
The width and shape of the seat are matters of preference, but check the height to ensure that it’s at the right level for your legs.
Some tall riders may need to adjust in the rise to obtain the optimal riding position for leg room and handlebar reach.
The seat should not be too wide or too narrow for your comfort and positioning.
3 – Consider The Range Of The Machine
Think about the distance you’ll ride from camp to your hunting/trapping areas.
The snowmobile you choose must have a large enough fuel tank to hold the amount of fuel necessary to get you to your destination and back to camp.
An alternative is to have space to carry extra fuel with you in an approved fuel container. This is where the mpg comes into play.
Snowmobiles with fuel-efficient engines can give you an edge if you travel long distances.
4 – Towing Capacity
Hunters and trappers carry their gear to the hunting/trapping grounds and back.
If you’re fortunate to score on the hunt, you will have your catch to haul back as well. Consider the total amount of weight you’ll carry or pull back.
You’ll need to have a drivetrain with an engine and transmission that is capable of powering through deep snow with ease while pulling a heavy load.
Check the tow capacity ratings to ensure you’re getting a sled that can handle the job.
5 – Useful Features
Consider which features you are most likely to need or want. Some snowmobiles come fully loaded, but most brands offer upgrade packages or a list of accessories to add to the base model.
An example of features to consider are load bearing/towing capacity, handholds, rails, track width, sport options, 1 or 2-seat models, integrated backrest, wide or narrow seat, pivoting headlights, and more.
Helpful Tips To Know About The Best Snowmobile For Hunting And Trapping
Hunters and Trappers have unique needs that may differ from other snowmobilers.
The best snowmobile for these activities will differ from one person to another in preferences for one brand over another, engine size, snowmobile size, and varying features.
These are all matters of preference, but there are a few things that every hunter and trapper should keep in mind before buying a snowmobile for transportation.
- Buy a snowmobile that fits your body size/style. Snowmobiles are made in varying models to accommodate youth or adults, big and small. They’re also made for specific skill levels, e.g., beginner through expert.
- Shop within your budget for a quality, dependable machine that will get to safely to your destination and back. Check consumer reviews to learn what others have to say before you buy.
- Consider buying a used snowmobile if you’re budget is too limited for a new model year. You can purchase used through dealerships or from private parties.
The Ski-Doo Skandic SWT Ace 900 is a heavy-duty utility snowmobile that offers the power, traction, and towing capacity to reach hunting and trapping grounds regardless of the terrain or weather conditions.
It’s a reliable sled that meets the criteria set for safety, task accomplishment, and riding comfort for treks into the wilderness carrying gear and game.
The 2022 model is impressive with its list of features and a long list of compatible accessories for customization.
The model is also available in older units, and a 2023 version is coming out for next season.
The price is in line with comparable models from top brands, but consumer reviews tip the scales in its favor as the best.