Eddie Montgomery was just one of several country singers who paid tribute to his Montgomery Gentry partner, Troy Gentry, with a special dedication during the annual Grand Ole Opry duck hunt.

The Opry Duck Hunt takes place every year shortly after Christmas. Gentry was a regular attendee, and this year Montgomery — along with Craig Morgan, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Chris Janson, Marty Roe from Diamond Rio and John Conlee — dedicated Gentry's favorite deer stand in his honor by decorating it with the Batman logo. Batman was Gentry's favorite superhero.

The Opry duck hunt is a way for members of that exclusive country music family to bond away from the spotlight.

Remembering Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry

"The concept is Opry members getting together away from the stage and sharing stories," Morgan shares.

Gentry died after a helicopter he was riding in crashed before a planned Montgomery Gentry gig in New Jersey on Sept. 8, 2017. The pilot was killed on impact. Eddie Montgomery was at Gentry's bedside when the singer died later that afternoon at a local hospital.

"A little piece of my soul got lost there," he reflects. "It was a horrific day, my world changed as much as the band did. It’s something that you never get over. It’s going to be in my mind and my soul for the rest of my life."

Gentry's country music family all came together at the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 14 to remember the life of the country singer, who was close personal friends with many in the business. The service included performances from Trace AdkinsCharlie DanielsLittle Big Town and more, and a tearful Vince Gill admonished Montgomery from the stage, telling him he needed to draw strength from his Opry family now more than ever.

"He told me: 'Man, don’t shut down on us. The best way to keep Troy alive is to keep going,'" Montgomery says.

He's doing just that. Montgomery Gentry will return to the road on the Here's to You Tour in 2018, with Montgomery and his bandmates continuing to bring the songs he and Gentry created together to their fans. The tour kicks off Jan. 19 and runs through September.

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