This silently eloquent gallery in New York's Museum of Natural History drew outdoorsmen from across the continent last week—86 trophies in 25 North American categories representing the best of the big-game bag of the last two years. The occasion was the biennial awards dinner of the Boone and Crockett Club, official scorekeepers of North American game records.

Three of the prizes set new world records: a polar bear taken off Point Hope, Alaska by Tom F. Bolack of New Mexico; a white-tail deer shot in his home state by John A. Breen of Minnesota; and a mule deer with a mysterious past—it was discovered in a saloon by a Wyoming taxidermist, history and hunter forgotten. But the top excitement and the top award, the Sagamore Hill Medal, were for an elk shot by Fred C. Mercer of Montana. With right and left antler lengths totaling 10 feet, it was judged "the elk of the century." After a month's display in New York, the trophies will be taken off museum walls and shipped to their proud owners. Boone and Crockett experts find trophy hunting increasing, believe that even better trophies still await the hunter.

If they had bowlers and umbrellas they might be commuters dashing for the 5:12 at Waterloo Station. But in this scantier garb they could only be most of the field of 646 runners who happily sloshed nine miles through rain and mud at West Bromwich the other day in the 73rd English Cross-Country Championships. Cross-country, one of Britain's most traditional and trying sports enthusiasms since the Thames Rowing Club began it as a form of winter training a century ago, has grown to the point where 101 clubs entered teams in this year's championship. Whether coal miners or bank executives (some of each are in the group above), the men churning up the West Bromwich course of grass, winter wheat and plowed earth were all seeking the connoisseur's quiet satisfaction that comes with a finish, be it first or 456th. Top connoisseur: an iron-muscled, 26-year-old Coventry gardener named Basil Heatley who weeded out all rivals with a five-minute-mile pace and won in a muddy trot.

TWO PHOTOSLEO CHOPLIN"ELK OF CENTURY" (above) won top award among trophies (opposite) in Boone and Crockett Club competition. PHOTOBRIAN SEED