The primary objective of the long hunters was the acquisition of furs for the lucrative international fur market. By 1770 prices ranged from one dollar for deerskins to as much as five dollars for otter pelts. The risks were not insignificant. Long hunters struggled for survival with the wilderness environment as well as with Native Americans. At times, Native Americans confiscated the furs and equipment of the long hunters, whom they viewed as trespassers and thieves, men who offered nothing in exchange for the furs they removed.
From another perspective, the long hunters represented the first essential steps in the settlement process. They located the best access routes into the trans-Appalachian West and the most suitable land for settlement. They identified springs for water and sources of salt, traveled through valleys and mountain passes, and trapped along countless rivers and streams. Their names are well known--Boone, Mansker, Bledsoe, Stone, and Spencer--and became place names in the areas where they once hunted and explored.