Because nutrition is critically related to other aspects of bison (Bison bison) ecology, and the winter ranges inhabited by bison in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are ecologically diverse, it was important to determine if nutritional deprivation differences occurred among winter ranges. We used chemistry profiles of urine suspended in snow to compare nutritional deprivation of bison from January to April 1988 on 4 sampling areas of 3 winter ranges in YNP. Declining (P < 0.001) trends of urinary potassium: creatinine ratios in bison on all 4 sampling areas indicated progressive nutritional deprivation through late March. Concurrent increases (P ≤ 0.001) in mean urea nitrogen: creatinine ratios from late February through late march in 3 of 4 areas suggested that increased net catabolism was occurring. Diminished creatinine ratios of sodium and phosphorus reflected low dietary intake of these minerals throughout winter. Mean values and trends of urinary characteristics indicated nutritional deprivation varied among 3 winter ranges in YNP. Continued physiological monitoring of nutritional deprivation, along with detailed examination of other aspects of the bison's ecology, will provide greater insight into the role of ungulate nutrition in the dynamics of such a complex system and improve management.