Pushing on through Cumberland Gap, the adventurers were soon in the heart of Kentucky. In accordance with custom, they visited some of the best licks - a few of which were probably first seen by them - for here wild beasts were always to be found in profusion. At Knob Licks they beheld from an eminence which overlooked the springs "what they estimated at largely over a thousand animals, including buffaloe [sic], elk, bear, and deer, with many wild turkies [sic] scattered among them - all quite restless, some playing, and others busily employed in licking the earth; but at length they took flight and bounded away all in one direction, so that in the brief space of a couple of minutes not an animal was to be seen." Within an area of many acres, the animals had eaten the salty earth to a depth of several feet.
Successful in a high degree, the party ceased operations in February, and had completed preparations for sending a large shipment of skins, furs, and "jerk" to the settlements, when, in their temporary absence, roving Cherokees robbed them of much of their stores and spoiled the greater part of the remainder. By February, 1771, there were only about fourteen of the hunters left in this party. All the others had gone home. The camp of the remaining hunters was raided by Indians, led by Will Emery, a half-breed Cherokee. The Indians made off will all the skins the party had collected. Before departing Kentucky, the hunters carved in a beech tree, "FIFTEEN HUNDRED SKINS GONE TO RUINATION."
It was about this time that the hunters were startled by a strange noise coming from deep within the woods. Always wary of Indians, one of the hunters, Gasper Mansker, grabbed his rifle, told the others to keep quiet and went to investigate the strange sound. Soon, from behind a tree, he discovered the source of the strange sound. Lying flat on his back looking straight into the heavens was a man singing a hymn at the top of his lungs. The singer was Daniel Boone. Boone admitted a penchant for singing when alone in the wilderness.
Boone and his brother Squire joined this party of long hunters for a time as they explored the Green and Cumberland River Valleys.
The long hunters who were led by Joseph Drake and Henry Skaggs maintained a permanent camp for a time on the shores of the Barren River near where modern day Bowling Green, Kentucky is located. One tributary to the Barren River near still bears the name of Drake's Creek. Not far from this creek is Skagg's Creek. The Boones spent some time with the Long Hunters, no doubt delighted at this opportunity of once more mingling with men of their kind. Among their amusement was that of naming rivers, creeks, and hills after members of the party; many of these names are still preserved upon the map of Kentucky.But the Boone brothers left their comrades in March and headed for the Yadkin, with horses now well laden with spoils of their chase.