A fabled annual Opry tradition, the Opry Duck Hunt, took on new meaning this year with a tribute to one of its former attendees: Montgomery Gentry‘s Troy Gentry. Other attendees, including Gentry’s duo partner Eddie Montgomery, honored the late country star by erecting a deer stand in his name.
The Opry Duck Hunt is a long-standing Nashville tradition in which Opry members, usually on a weekend following soon after Christmas, team up for a duck hunting trip that is as much about camaraderie as it is about the sport. “The concept is Opry members getting together away from the stage and sharing stories,” Craig Morgan explains in a video clip. Morgan, along with Montgomery, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Chris Janson, Marty Roe and John Conlee, took part in this year’s trip.
It seemed only fitting that this year’s iteration would pay homage to Gentry, who died on Sept. 8, 2017 in a helicopter crash in Medford, N.J., in a way that would have made him proud. A recent photo from Diamond Rio’s Instagram depicts the group of country stars in hunting getup, standing in front of a duck stand by the edge of a forest line. The special part? The Batman logo — a nod to Gentry’s favorite superhero — embossed on the front of the structure. “All of us dedicated Troy Gentry’s favorite deerstand at the @opry hunt. The Batman logo. His favorite superhero. – Marty,” the caption reads.
“It is a family, and that’s what’s wonderful about it. You work together with your family here at the Opry,” Morgan said of the institution of the duck hunt in 2015. The bond between the country music family showed itself once again this year, with Opry members coming together to honor Gentry’s memory in a way that the singer would have loved.
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