The hunters were dropped off in the woods of Norrbotten County, where brown bears are known to wander, and they soon radioed for help when they found themselves surrounded by shadows they believed to be the predators, The Local.no reported Tuesday.
However, the pilot told the group he would not be able to fly back to pick them up until the sun rose the following day.
"I was on another assignment and we don't fly in the dark so they had to sit in a little shelter, it's like a little box," pilot Johan Nordlund said.
The hunters spent the night in the small shelter and looked out the next morning to discover they had been surrounded by three cows and there were no bears in sight.
Nordlund told newspaper Aftonbladet the hunters called him to cancel their rescue.
"I asked, 'Are you guys drunk or what?'" he said.
Nordlund said the cows likely escaped from a Norwegian farm, as the nearest Swedish farm is dozens of miles from the site.