- Deeper Currents: The Sacraments of Hunting and Fishing (2016)
- Wilder Ways (2012)
- Tracks (2006)
- Trails: Reflections of a Pilgrimage (1984)
Donald C. Jackson currently lives in Starkville, Mississippi. He was born in north-central Kentucky but moved with his parents to Arkansas when he was ten. His father was a pastor. Jackson received his B. S. in Zoology and an M.S. in zoology from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. was earned at Auburn University. He had a post-doctoral assignment with the University of Alaska. After attending Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky, he served as pastor of New Liberty Christian Church (Disciples of Christ.) Jackson also served in the Peace Corps in Malaysia. Currently, he is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Starkville.
Jackson is now retired from Mississippi State University where he had been a professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture since 1986. Jackson also served as an adjunct professor with the Malaysian University of Science (Universiti Sains Malaysia–Penang). In this capacity he helped Mississippi State establish a long-term memorandum of agreement for collaborative work and faculty and student exchanges in natural resources. He is now the Sharp Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Fisheries at Mississippi State and the author of four books: Deeper Currents, Wilder Ways (his son Robert T. Jackson drew the illustration for the cover), Tracks, and Trails.
In 2007, Jackson, then a twenty-one-year teaching and research veteran of Mississippi State University, was presented with the American Fisheries Society’s 2007 Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s annual meeting in San Francisco, California. He was honored for contributions of time and energy spent restoring professional capacity of fisheries biologists after Katrina in 20. The storm did major damage to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Southeast Louisiana. Jackson led the AFS Hurricane Disaster Relief Program and assisted members in maintaining professional connections while also collecting funds to jump-start research and management programs of those affected.
A serious hunter and fisherman, his books reveal those interests. He is a past president of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and the American Fisheries Society. His last three books have been published by the University Press of Mississippi.
by Clint Kimberling (Reprinted with permission)
Retired prof captures spirituality of outdoors
Donald Jackson is not your typically avid duck hunter and fisherman. The retired Mississippi State University biology and fisheries professor is also a multilingual world traveler, piano player and former minister. It’s these multiple layers Jackson calls upon to inform his writing about the outdoors that goes well beyond the idea getting away from it all. His books are filled with stories about being in harmony with nature.
In his latest, Deeper Currents: The Sacraments of Hunting and Fishing, (University Press of Mississippi), Jackson takes readers on a guided journey into the cathedrals of wild and lonely places, those sacred terrains where hunters and fishers connect with the rhythms of the earth, and the rhythms of life that resonate within us. Jackson uses hunting and fishing as frameworks — sacraments for discovering, engaging, and finding meaning in those outdoor rhythms. And he invites readers consider their own connections with wilder realms of being.
As a writer Jackson has a unique ability to make us feel as though we are on these journeys right alongside him as he opens our eyes to an unseen world. Jackson describes hunting squirrels on an autumn morning, listening to the quiet, observing the stillness, probing the woods, rifle in hand. The reader will appreciate his attention to nature — an attention too often neglected.
Other stories see him following a bird dog into the damp and mysterious places where woodcock settle on their southbound migrations, chasing hounds on the trail of racoons on a frosty winter night, and hunting deer in a quiet corner of a small farm.
Oh, and the fishing tales. These are not elaborate and exaggerated stories. Rather, Jackson writes about relishing hours and days spent reeling in carp in a creek, bass and bluegill in ponds, catfish in a murky river, and reef fish in the Gulf.
Jackson is able to take something as simple as a tractor or an old barn and find a place for it in the reader’s heart. Boats and canoes navigate the waters of danger and dreams. Jackson shares outdoor pilgrimages with good friends in cabins, tents, camps and old trailers tucked beyond the reach of a rushing world.
He rejoices in the whisper of stiff wings of ducks coming to decoys, the call of geese and cranes over tidal flats, the hush before a storm, the muffled snap of a twig at twilight, a drop of dew falling on the surface of a pond, and the clicking of caribou hooves on an Alaskan gravel bar. Jackson takes inspiration from these seemingly innocuous natural moments. But it fills him with a raw and natural energy that fuels his writing. Deeper Currents reminds us that we when we hunt, fish, or hike we are taking part in a sacred heritage and that creation is unfolding all around us. This reminder comes early and often in the book. On a canoe trip, writing eloquently about simple act of setting a trotline and catching fish for him and his companions, Jackson reflects, “Trotlines, truly they are catalysts for grace.”
Any outdoor enthusiast will find a lot of relatable material in this Deeper Currents. But its audience is not limited to outdoorsmen. Anyone who can appreciate the art of Southern storytelling, finding wonder and amazement through the small things in life, or just the nostalgia of a simpler life will delight in the stores shared here.
Clint Kimberling has published articles in Portico Jackson and The Southern Register.
- Donald Jackson of MSU honored for gulf fisheries research
- Learn more about Deeper Currents at upress.state.ms.us/books/1874
- Learn more about Wilder Ways at upress.state.ms.us/books/1458
- Learn more about Tracks at upress.state.ms.us/books/855
- National organization honors fishery biologist Don Jackson, 1998
- MSU professors join NGI, 2011
- Amazon page for Wilder Ways April , 2003
- Professional publications by Jackson at Mississippi State University