University Press –
In Wilder Ways, Donald C. Jackson takes readers on a journey into the deep and very personal connections that can develop between people and wild places while hunting, fishing, and rambling across landscapes. Fishing by lantern light late at night for bullhead catfish on a small stream, hunting wood ducks and squirrels on his farm in north Mississippi, bow hunting deer as twilight creeps across a small clearing, handlining crabs in the Pascagoula River estuary, hunting caribou in Alaska and elk in Colorado, searching for blind fish in Ozark caves, and fighting a storm on an Indonesian river: Jackson leads us into reflections of our own journeys and helps us to understand that we can be part of a wilder way, often very near to our homes.
We walk with him through the tall grass, wet with early morning dew, light tackle in hand, down to a "ditch" under a Mississippi highway bridge and then discover that the "ditch" is really a very fine stream full of fish. We recapture the essence of hunting by stalking fox squirrels in a small patch of hardwoods. We stand beside him, listening to the whistle of wings as ducks pass overhead in the pre-dawn light and fog that surround a tiny, brushy pond hidden in the woods. We smell the salt air and feel the power of a redfish as it strips line from the fishing reel while the sunset turns marsh to gold. We walk alone under the starlight along an Alaska river after an afternoon of grayling fishing. We fall in love again with tents, tractors, and old brown dogs. Through the shared journeys in Wilder Ways, we link with the rhythms of the earth, understanding that the wilds are not something separate from us. We are all somewhat wilder than perhaps we ever imagine.