ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Groups opposed to Minnesota's wolf hunt have started a petition drive to stop the hunting season set for November.

Howling for Wolves is leading the effort to collect more than 50,000 signatures to present to Gov. Mark Dayton.

Howling for Wolves President Maureen Hackett says the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' own wolf population survey showing a nearly 25 percent decline in the population in five years is reason enough to suspend hunting.

Advocates contend the loss of breeding wolves during the hunting season could affect the overall population. DNR researchers have said Minnesota's wolf population can sustain a hunt.