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A Sportsman's Journey

A Sportsman's Journey

By Donald C. Jackson
Hardcover : 9781496835840, 250 pages, November 2021
Paperback : 9781496835963, 250 pages, November 2021

Expressive reminders of the power and spiritual pull of the natural world


A Sportsman's Journey lyrically and spiritually connects readers with the natural world. Donald C. Jackson explores the rhythms and ways of hunting and fishing, particularly in America’s Deep South, and in so doing helps readers understand and find meaning in why hunters and anglers venture far afield.

Journeying alongside the author, readers will savor the magic of sunrises and the mystery of twilight. Hearts will quicken as deer drift from shadows and ducks circle a woodland pond. The ocean will challenge them as they fight large fish from the deck of a wave-tossed boat far out at sea. Restless winds will whisper messages during a spring squirrel hunt on a Mississippi farm. Bird dogs, old guns, old friends, and times shared with loved ones will remind anglers and hunters of those special, shared memories.

Ancient forests and powerful rivers remind us of our fragile, ephemeral state. Quail hunts strengthen cherished relationships with companions. Encounters with a mountain man will take us into a world thought to have vanished generations ago. A gathering of anglers on a Gulf Coast fishing pier at night reminds us of those hidden communities that exist around us, and are often unrecognized or perhaps even unknown. Jackson reveals how all of us depend on the natural world and share very personal interactions with it and with each other. This book reminds us that rediscovering, resurrecting, and celebrating these primal linkages are the real reasons we explore the world.


"A Sportsman's Journey is superbly written and vividly descriptive. It explores the deeper dimensions of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits, something not often done in outdoor writing. Don Jackson brings a unique perspective with his wide-ranging background and astonishing breadth of experience. He combines the perspectives of country boy, seminarian, and Indiana Jones, all in one!"

- Ernest Herndon, staff writer and outdoors editor of the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi, and author of several books and other works published in such anthologies as The Magnolia Club and From Behind the Magnolia Curtain

"These are not your typical hunting and fishing stories. A Sportsman's Journey describes the changes in attitude that happen as one grows older. It’s suitable for all readers and will be a special read for hunters, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts. "

- Cathy Shropshire, executive director emerita of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation

"Don Jackson is an outdoorsman’s outdoorsman. He savors a squirrel hunt with a . 22 as much as sitting in a deer stand with a . 30-06; cuts his own venison and keeps the ribs; follows rawboned bird dogs after bobwhite; and stalks the coppery smallmouth bass in rocky Ozark creeks that jump and dance and sing. Happily, he’s also an excellent writer. Through his finely crafted pages you can wander and wonder with him, catching wild fish, hunting wild game, and even meeting a wild man or two. Do not fail to read Don Jackson’s A Sportsman’s Journey. "

- James T. McCafferty, author of The Bear Hunter: The Life and Times of Robert Eager Bobo and Hunting Bear and Panther in the Old South

"The author looks back on a lifetime of hunting and fishing in twenty-nine essays that are gems of their kind. . . . I know of no outdoor writer who writes so well about so many things, who grounds his thinking so deeply in experiences, and who uses the local so effectively to reveal the universal."

- Christopher Camuto, Gray's Sporting Journal

"Donald C. Jackson’s fourth book of reflective essays may be his best writing yet, which says a lot, because his outdoor writing is some of the clearest, best writing in the genre."

- Ken Hada, Mississippi Books Page

"Artfully and vividly penned, master storyteller Donald Jackson’s A Sportsman’s Journey captures a lifetime of outdoor escapades filled to the brim with emotional depth, humor and thoughtful notions. . . . Settle into the pages of Jackson’s well-worded memories and find yourself completely immersed in southern sporting culture. Delight your mind’s eye with rich, vibrant settings and familiar backdrops—places you’ve been, places you’ll recognize. Explore legends, experience adventure and journey with the author in his old truck rambling through the lesser traveled backroads of Mississippi and Arkansas where you’re sure to laugh a little, cry a little, be inspired and above all, be entertained."

- Amy Taylor, Delta Wildlife

"Jackson's latest book of twenty-nine essays covers an array of topics sure to please any true sportsman. . . . His writing is so captivating that you can sense deer approaching and envision ducks as they circle a pond. . . . This book will inspire you to take a step outdoors and explore the world."

- Bianca Bordelon, Wildlife Mississippi

"In his most recent book, “A Sportsman’s Journey,” Jackson writes with the flair of a seasoned wordsmith, the wonder of a passionate outdoorsman, the wisdom of a wisened philosopher and the heart of a man who loves his family and his life."

- Leslie Criss, Invitation

"Jackson brings a unique perspective with his wide-ranging background and breadth of experience. He combines the perspectives of country boy, seminarian and Indiana Jones all in one."

- Ernest Herndon, Enterprise-Journal