In my world a reliable stun gun exists, the specifics of it described in this question: What would the rules for carry and use of weapons be affected by reliable stun guns?
I'm wondering how this will affect hunters? Stun guns have ranges and power rates of pistols, but high powered stun weapons could be used to take out all but the biggest targets easily (a really high power stun can work on the largest, but at that power the guns would be lethal to humans and may get different regulation).
Stun rifles also exist, but with only slightly longer ranges compared to pistols, rarely used in other circumstances I could see them used for hunting.
My question, how will this affect hunters? First, I am confident 'stun-hunting' will exist to some degree, either as a 'catch and release' approach or even a more 'humane' killing technique since once stun the animal wont feel any pain or fear when the hunter comes closer to kill it; possible even as an additional challenge. After all flint pistol hunting exists, all kind of niche weapon hunting methods are practiced to some degree.
However, I'm curious how much of a niche it will be. How much will hunters rebel against use of hunting weapons that have ranges comparable to pistols? Will stun-hunting ever be more then a tiny niche, or will the ability to hunt-and-release attract many who want to hunt but not kill and/or don't want the animal for the meat?
Second, In this world access to lethal weapons likely will be more restricted, due to presence of a 'safer' alternative; and because police prefer to use stun guns and thus don't like civies to have weapons that out range their preferred non-lethal means of dealing with a situation. I have a different question asking how restrictive lethal guns will be, and generally it will vary by area with some having little increase on restrictions and others having significant ones; however, in general what will it take for a hunter to get a hunting permit in a world that is more restrictive about gun use? Will becoming a hunter, or more accurately getting a lethal rifle to use for hunting, be harder, and if so would that have any significant affect hunting beyond a little extra red tape before you can start?
For example, are hunting rifles more likely to be limited in some way to make them only useful for hunting (maybe lower refire rate?) to satisfy the hunters while limiting concern of lethal weapons in a world that further legislates them? Are there even viable ways of being somewhat more restrictive on hunters and weapons, beyond more through background checks, without removing hunting entirely?
I really know almost nothing about hunting, so I don't really know enough to even ask an intelligent question here :)